Parenting Milestones - The first time your child breaks your trust.

March 11, 2017

As your children grow up there are lots of first's right? Some are good first's like crawling, walking and talking while some are bad like cheating, hitting and lying. Last week we had a bad first with our 9 year daughter Taylor. So Taylor had a birthday party for a friend and it was at the bowling alley. A couple days earlier she found a $20 bill on the ground while coming home from a friends house and she wanted to take it to the birthday party. Knowing that whenever she has any money she wants to blow it as soon as she can, we were cautious about letting her take it for fear she would blow it. We are trying to teach her to SAVE money and not blow it as soon as you get it on something like candy when you can save for something you really want. We were not sure if there was going to be food provided so in case there wasn't my wife let her take it under one condition...."Only Use It If You Have To!" The deal was made.....she would only spend it if she had to and no matter what she would bring at least $10 home with her. This was a big trusting moment between her and us and she blew it!

She came home that night empty handed and we asked her where the money was. At first she didn't want to tell us but couldn't think of a good story so she just said "I spent it". On what we asked? Games she said. Games? What game could you possibly spend $20 in 2 hours on? Turns out she spent all $20 on the Stuffed animal claw game to get her friend a stuffed animal she really wanted. Now that was really sweet of her but that went against the deal she made before she left for the party. What does a parent do?

This was lesson time......while it was sweet to try to win your friend a stuffed animal, you knew you were only supposed to use the money if you "Had To" and at least bring $10 back home. We asked her if she remembered the deal she made before she left for the party and she said yes. We told her that she had broken our trust and how are we to belive her when she tells us she is going to do something in the future. I gave her a few other examples of things she asks us and how they would also fall into the trust category. I think she understood the seriousness of trust between her and her parents and she apologized. Why did she do it? Did she want to look cool in front of her friends? Did she actually forget the deal she made with us before she left? Was she just trying to fit in and be nice?

So what do we do now as parents? Should we remind her when she asks us to do something that has to do with trust that she broke our trust and why should we believe what she's saying right now? Should we say "NO" to whatever that is to prove how important trust is?  I don't know but it was our first situation with her where she broke our trust and we also realized that she is growing up and there will probably be more situatiuons like these we will be faced with as parents in the future. 

At what age did your shild break the trust for the first time between child and parent? What did you do? What did they do?