Trust is a very big thing when it comes to family and relationships. When your child betrays your trust, it can feel bad as a parent. There can be many reasons why kids can betray the trust of a parent.
Understanding why and how the situation can be fixed is important. Children have a very different mindset than an adult so the actions they take might not seem right or ethical to us.
Actions that adults might think is wrong can be right for the child so understanding why they did a certain action is key.
Why was Trust Broken?
There can be many reasons why children betray a parent’s trust. When children are given some type of freedom or privilege, they can take advantage of the situation which can lead them to break the trust.
Children can also be restricted from many things and that restriction can cause a break of trust. As parents, we need to understand that there can be many different reasons why children betray trust.
When trust is broken, there are steps to take that can fix the problem.
Before reacting emotionally and do something that you will regret, understand the situation at hand, and put yourself in the child’s shoes.
What to do if Child Betrays your Trust
When you find out that your children broke your trust in a specific instance, the first thing you should do is sit them down and talk.
Ask them why they did the specific action. This is the most important part because their answer will make you understand why they did this action.
Keep in mind that many children might not answer truthfully and that is due to the fear they are feeling as they are getting questioned.
This is the time where the parents determine if they are trying to lie or be truthful.
If the kid seems truthful, this is a good sign because it shows that they will not lie to get out of the situation. Giving a truthful answer will make the situation easier to understand from the parent’s perspective.
Why Kids Might Lie
If you notice your child lying, this is a bigger issue because there can be many reasons why they lied.
The first and most common reason would be that they are scared. This is common because any child growing up was at one point scared or fearful of their parents because they are the authority figure in their life.
That can be from previous times where there was yelling, hitting, or punishment involved. When kids are in a situation where one of those 3 things can occur, they will do everything possible to avoid that situation which will lead them to lie.
If you have caused trauma to the child in the past either by mental or physical abuse, they will always shy away from being truthful and will try to avoid any type of a truthful interaction with you.
This is when you as a parent reflect on how your relationship is with your child in the past experiences when you had to confront them about a situation they did.
Were you always angry and acted on emotions or did you take the proper steps to diffuse the situation and fix the problem correctly?
Keep in mind that you should be a mentor and a guide your kids look up to, not a scary figure that brings them fear whenever they do something wrong. Children of all ages mess up countless times and it can be upsetting as a parent but the way you handle those situations is very important.
Fixing the Situation
After you hear their answer about why they committed the act that they did. This is where you will dissect their answer and understand their reasoning.
For example, if your child snuck out at night to his friend’s house. When you ask why he did it. He says the reason he did it was that he doesn’t have enough time to hang out with his friends because you restrict him from doing so.
After hearing this answer, the parent would sit back and find a compromise that can work for both the child and the parent.
The parent can set up times that the child can visit his friend more without him having to sneak out behind their backs.
Like we have mentioned before, children usually break their trust with their parents because they are restricted from things they want to do. When the parents understand that, they can make a plan where the child can feel some type of freedom without having to do things behind the parent’s back.
How to Proceed with the Situation
When your child betrays your trust, there are many ways to proceed with the situation depending on how old they are and how many times they have betrayed your trust.
If it is a young child that does not usually get in trouble often, this can be used as a lesson learned. Explain to them that they are not supposed to do things behind your back.
They need to learn that they have to ask you first before doing anything. Since they are younger and are still learning, small punishments can be implemented like time out or no TV for a day.
If your child is older and did a more serious action, this is where you would have to use a more serious tone. They are at that age where they can understand the severity of the situation.
If the child is also consistently breaking your trust, the conversation needs to be a serious one with consequences that will actually teach them not to break your trust in the future.
Before you hand down the consequences, remember that it is more important to fix the problem and come to an understanding with the child before taking any action.
We are not here to be strick automotive figures that love power, we are here to raise these children to become better people as they get older.
How to go Forward with This
After you have gone through with the talk, check in with your child later on and talk about what happened. As I said, it is important for you to talk to them as a mentor rather than an authoritative figure.
This will lead them to trust you more and tell you things they would usually keep behind your back. This will also strengthen the relationship between you two.
Trust is a very big part of a relationship between a parent and their child. People tend to be straightforward and open when they have a friendly relationship so parents need to approach their children that way so the child can be open and not are afraid to talk to their parents as friends.
There are many ways to bond with your children to build up trust. Check out this post about outdoor activities you can do with preschoolers to develop an amazing bond.
Parenting is a very hard thing to do sometimes and in many cases, our own children can do things that disappoint us. One of those things can be when your child betrays your trust. There are many ways to develop trust between you and children but it requires work from the parents as much as it does for the child also.
It is normal for kids to go behind their parents back and do certain things because of the reasons I stated above. It is the parent’s job to make sure they develop a good relationship with their kids early on so this does not happen.