Liam and I had hit the pool at the local YMCA for his first round of swim lessons. It was one of those parent/child swim classes, and it seemed like everyone else’s child had jumped to their parent’s open arms.
Liam just stood there with that “there is no chance I’m doing this” face. Seemed like no matter what I said, he wouldn’t budge. Finally, I just blurted out, “I will catch you! Just trust me!”
I’m not sure if he finally summoned the courage or just tired of my pestering, but he jumped into the pool and into my arms. No worries. No fear. Just a huge smile on his face.
I’ve found that so much of parenting can be summed up in those three little words: “Just trust me.”
Trust me, eating that king size candy bar in one sitting will make you sick.
Trust me, you really do want to put on the bug spray.
Trust me, having a TV in your room really isn’t the wisest choice right now.
We say those words all the time.
But if we look at trust as putting your confidence in someone you can depend on, we can’t just say the words “just trust me” and expect our kids to jump into our arms. We must actually be trustworthy parents.
Easier said than done.
I knew I would catch Liam when he jumped of the edge of the pool. Did he?
We assume our kids will trust because we know that we’ll be there for them. We provide them food and shelter, a loving family, and more toys then they know what to do with. But is this really how we let our children know they can trust us?
As parents, we have a million things vying for our attention. Several of those are important, but most are not. When we choose what’s less important over our children, we’re spending equity against the relational trust we work so hard to build.
Equity, that if we don’t deposit more, will run out.
Take a moment and think about the last seven days.
Did you respond the first time your child called your name or did she need to say it a few times to get your attention?
Did you ignore your phone when it notified you of a text message while you were talking with your kids?
Did you keep your word when you said that you’d play a game later, go to the park, or have a family movie night?
When I look at my own life, I realize that I have so much to learn. I’m looking forward to spending this next month talking about trust. Not only to help my children learn to trust, but also to learn how I can become a trustworthy parent.
After all, when we demonstrate to our kids that we can be trusted in the mundane moments of life, they will trust us in those “leap of faith” moments as well.