Have you noticed a parent yelling at a toddler? Most often the reaction of the toddler is just to cry and run back to the parent. This very observation stems from a natural close-knit parent-child bond.
A child builds a level of trust and intimacy with parents right from the stage of infancy. The way you respond to your child is reinforced into a belief system for your child which sets the foundation of a trust relationship with you. Comfort, nurturance, and security are the three main elements that your toddler seeks to find in a relationship with you. So let’s break down trust and see what your toddler is looking for in building a trusting relationship with you.
Let’s try and understand how:
‘My parents have got my back even when I have faltered.’
Your toddler is bound to fail many a time, and that is something you have to not only accept but also embrace. Especially when she has set out to do something for the first time, she might fail in it and then the next time and the time after that. And it’s alright. It builds a sense of relief for your child to know that a trustworthy adult has always got her back. This trust relationship makes her grow in a space where she is open to trying new things using her strengths most efficiently while being able to work on areas of defeat with a supportive parent.
I might not be able to do this, but my parents will definitely help me’
When an enabling environment surrounds your toddler, she understands that she needs to put in the effort, and her trust that her parents will be the support system she can lean on, will make her confident to go ahead. Following up from acceptance comes being the parent your child can rely on to correct her, build her and embrace everything she is. The fact that your child comes running to you when faced with something she can’t handle is a sign that your relationship with your child is on the right path.
‘We agree to disagree.’
This, I believe, is one of the most challenging spaces for a parent to be in. The environment you grew up in, is definitely not the one your child is growing up in. Hence, there are going to be differences of opinion even as a toddler. An important aspect of this forte is to be able to embrace your differences while not bordering disrespect. From the toys she plays with to the demands she lays down, you will have a lot to take, by being open.
‘I will tell my parents everything because that is the foundation of our family.’
When children begin to see a disappointed, angry parent, the infant in them chooses, in fear ,to satisfy the parent as opposed to creating a character of rightfulness. While it is essential to correct your child, make sure your child is clear to understand that the disappointment is directed towards the action and not the person. Your child is loved, no matter what she has done.
Trust is the very foundation of any relationship. When a relationship is effectively built on this, a strong foundation is difficult to shake.