My father-in-law is an architect. Years ago, when my kids were little, I was in his office looking at the artwork on the walls. It was a collection of buildings that he had designed. One, in particular, caught my eye. It was a building designed on the side of a mountain with metal posts going into the ground. As I talked to him about it, I learned about foundations and what it takes to know how to build in a situation like this. His answer: the soil. You have to know the soil. It’s the same with your kids. To build a strong foundation of relationship with them you have to know their soil and how to best build on that soil.
God created your child to be a masterpiece, as we’ve already discussed in this series. It’s up to you to learn about the soil of each of their hearts to help build a strong foundation in them. You have to become an expert on your child. What gets them excited? What lifts them up? What drives them to tears? Each of your children is different so it’s important to adjust your approach so you do not wound the sensitive one but also get through to the strong child.
In this 4th episode in a series about Parenting Beyond the Rules, let’s dive into what it takes to build trust with our kids.
Foundation of Trust
Charles Feltman, a trust expert, broke trust down into four areas: sincerity, reliability, competence, and care.
- Sincerity: Our children need to know that we’re sincere. They need to know that we say what we mean and mean what we say. Words matter.
- Reliability: Do you keep your promises? Our kids need to know that we are reliable. When you say I’ll be there in 5 minutes, do you show up?
- Competence: Competence means that you have the skills to do what you say you’re going to do. If you don’t have the needed skills, you have to be honest and tell your kids that you’re going to figure it out together.
- Care: Showing your kids that you care means having their best interest at heart. People are generally selfish. The Lord tells us to esteem others higher than ourselves.
These things work together to establish trust at the foundation of relationship with your kids. This helps them know that they can count on us.
There are three things you can actively use to develop trust with your kids:
- Time – Quality time together doing things that are intentional.
- Grace – An atmosphere of grace changes the temperature of your home and sets the stage for forgiveness.
- Repentance – Mistakes will be made along the way so learn to say I’m sorry.
Building a strong foundation of relationship requires good communication. We have to clearly articulate, which requires thought and being a little slower to speak sometimes. Our kids need to hear our dreams, hopes, and goals as a family. We are relational at our core – first with the Lord and then with others. We want to create families that don’t just survive until the kids turn 18, but rather families that have beautiful, rich relationships as the kids become adults!
References and Links
The following may contain affiliate links.
- How to Set Curfews for Children – ETB #7
- Parenting Passive Children – ETB #12
- Listen to Resolve Conflict – ETB #17
- Build Relationships by Monitoring Your Mouth – ETB #25
- Foster Respect Between You and Your Teen – ETB #49
- 3 Ways to Create Memorable Moments for Your Children – ETB #77
- The Importance of Parenting Beyond the Rules (PBTR Part 1) – ETB #115
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