Inspired Parenting VIPs Teachable Moments

Trust and Responsibility: The Missing Pieces of Disciplining Your Child

Strong parent-child relationships are built on reciprocal trust which sets the framework for positive discipline. From birth you teach your child to trust you as their caregiver. This sense of trust is the foundation for a successful life. Often though, “good parenting” defines that trust is a one-way street. Children are expected to trust their parent, but the same level of trust is not afforded to them. To children, this feels unfair and it is. A truly trusting relationship is one where the trust is awarded equally.

Empowered children have a strong sense of independence and self-confidence. Children develop these skills through interacting with the world and having opportunities to succeed. They believe that they are capable of handling the world around them. They desire opportunities to express their budding independence. A great way to provide children with opportunities to succeed is to trust them to be responsible for things you know they can handle or can learn to handle with a bit of initial guidance. This instills a sense of autonomy and gives children an opportunity to experience the power of taking responsibility for self. It encourages children to take action over their own behaviors.

This knowledge can be a blessing when approaching disciplinary practices with your child. When you trust your child to be responsible for following the rules and to be independent in their own actions they feel empowered to do so. When you communicate trust, you are showing a deep level of respect that will be reciprocated. The result is a win-win situation, your child’s sense of independence and self-confidence is bolstered all while they are follow...

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