Where would we be without trust? Without trusting in our children, their teachers, our partners, friends and family. Trust is built to create a mutual feeling of comfort and psychological safety with others, but is equally important to build a feeling of trust within ourselves.
This Leap Year can be a day for you to take a leap of faith. If there’s anything that doesn’t feel right or you want to improve, now could be the time to start. Trust your intuition!
As parents, it is important to remember that you serve as a role models to your children. Your relationship as parents with each other, friends and family are the relationships your children are exposed to the most, and therefore they learn from them.
Trust is essential to the wellbeing of our relationships as an honest and understanding way of sticking by someone’s side. John Gottman, a leading marriage researcher has found that there is a series of values to follow for a successful and healthy relationship. These skills could also be used in other every day spaces such as work as a form of professional development. In creating a balance of trust, Gottman says we need to maintain awareness, turn ourselves towards others’ needs, develop a tolerance and understanding, respond non-defensively and empathize. He calls this ATTUNE, a way to build trust:
- Turning toward
- Non defensive responding
Parents and children build trust in different ways, however. Where these phrases may seem abstract to a child, there are ways to include them in fun activities for your children. Help them find their way by taking this leap of faith together!
- Trust Fall: A common game among kids to develop confidence among one another. Have one child fall back and be caught by another, or join them as well! Gradually increase distance (as long as it looks safe!) to add a challenge.
- Trust Walk: Invite your child and his or her friends to join in a fun game where half of the group is blindfolded. Pair up and have the group without blindfolds lead through an obstacle course!
- Human Knot Game: Create a circle among family and friends and have everyone place their hands in the middle. Once everyone has reached out to another hand, have them hold on and open their eyes. The objective is to untie the knot without letting go until the group is a circle again!
These are great activities not only for you and your child, but to promote trust among your community. Through mutual trust you can create a safe space and build communication skills with your children.
This February 29th, speak your mind, jump out of your comfort zone, take a risk! Sometimes we all need a little push or a reason to start something new, let this be your fresh beginning to reflect and move forward in something new.