Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Build Trust - Be Honest

Children Deserve Our Truth

Teacher Tom's Demanding Truth post is a powerful testament to building a relationship with your child based on honesty. Children want sincerity. They want a mom and dad who they can trust.

It doesn't mean they require you to be right about everything. It does mean they don't want you to pretend to know when you don't, or even more importantly for young children, to pretend to not know when you do. 

(NOTE: Papa Green Bean is a child development advocate, but the points here are also relevant for building and maintaining a bond with your partner and friends.)

I know, I know, I know, I know!!!!

The Power of "I Don't Know"

When your child knows you are honest and trusts you implicitly, life is much easier. You can be real with yourself and keep it simple and pure.

Ahhhh, breathe in deeply through your nose, hold... hold, and release through your mouth, the complexities of white lies and deceptions held within yourself and with your child. 

When I was a very young dad, I read about the intrinsic benefits of being completely 'straight-up' with your children. How this no-bars integrity would release any pent-up hesitations in parent-child communication. And if it was to be completely square, it would involve a lot of, "I don't know, but why don't we try to find out the answer" responses to your child.

When admitting a lack of knowledge on a subject, it makes you a real person. It is being humble. Let's face it, children don't know too much about anything, but luckily, they are born with an open mind full of curiosity. All children have a deep desire to explore the unknown, both literally and figuratively. They are born to make miscalculations as they learn through experimentation. As a parent, admitting you made an mistake can be a powerful testiment to your forthrightness serving as a realistic role model for your children to aspire to with confidence.

Saying 'I don't know" was one of my best lines as a dad!

Oh, Smoochie, I love you.

Raising Children Up

If a child grows up in an atmosphere of 'truth', the art of communicative conversation rises to higher and higher levels. By the way, this includes discipline. For example, you tell your child that you would like them to put away their books and wash their hands before dinner. Then if they sit down with clean hands but books still strewn over the floor, you politely remind them to pick up the books and return them to their book shelf. There is no reason to threaten them with 'no dinner' if they don't. It becomes simply a matter of living together in a respectful and lovingly mindful environment.


Following through on your word is, perhaps, the best method of instilling a spirit of healthy zest for life in your children.  Consistent sincerity becomes contagious and creates a foundation for trust. When your children believe in you, they will love you forever.

There is so much I know I don't know... but I'd like to.

Breathe in deeply and release, Papa Green Bean

Mom, are your toes cold? Yes, dear.