You peel an icky band-aid from your toddler's arm without realizing that it is still glued on tight. Later, your toddler refuses to let you see or touch their arm for a very long time.

Your child might be having trouble trusting you because of this incident.

Man asks boy to fall backwards from a ladder and walks away as he falls. C'mon Son. Rule number one; never trust anybody.

Don't despair! You can slowly work towards regaining your child's trust.

Identify The Cause

Young children usually trust their parents with everything. To identify what broke their trust, go over your actions in the recent past.

What actions or words caused them to lose trust in you?

Child sticking his tongue out. Photo by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash

Listen Actively

  • Try to understand the feelings behind their words. For example, when a young child says, "Go away", don't feel hurt. Dig deeper to know more.

  • They might not be able to clearly express fear or dislike at this age. Maybe they mean to say, "I didn't like that you ripped that band-aid off; I would've liked to wait until it peeled off on its own. I'm scared that putting on a new one will hurt."

  • Participate in the conversation by asking relevant questions. Ask, "Are you scared to put on a new band-aid? I'm sorry. We'll wait for it to peel off this time."

Woman wearing giant ears.

Walk The Talk

Use your actions to show that your child can trust you.

Flaticon Icon Always speak the truth. Take pains to avoid telling white lies so your child doesn't have to second guess what you mean.

Flaticon Icon Keep your promises. Make reasonable commitments that you can keep. Your child should know that they can depend on you to do what you say.

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Give them time. Allow your child time to slowly regain their confidence in you. Being impatient might push the child further away.

Flaticon Icon Encourage them. Help your child understand that you are there for them while you wait for them to come to you.

Be A Trust Builder

Trisha's daughter Tia started attending daycare last week. Trisha is trying to juggle handling a new business, a home renovation, and parenting.

Tia came back from daycare and declared, "I hate Mommy." What can Trisha do to help her child trust her enough to tell her why she suddenly feels this way?

Flaticon Icon A. Keep her ears open without being angry or insulted

Flaticon Icon B. Be honest about the situation and keep her promise to spend more time together

Flaticon Icon C. Ask questions to understand more about Tia's feelings

Flaticon Icon D. Deal with the problem quickly so she can get back to work


Select the right combination of actions Trisha should take.

Take Action

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For more insights on what you can do to build, rebuild, or maintain trust with your child:


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