One of the greatest joys of a parent is watching your child mature into a well-rounded adult. What traits do you want to see develop in your children as they grow and mature? Is trustworthiness one of the traits you hope to cultivate in their lives? Let us offer some tips and insight into teaching your children the character trait of trustworthiness.
What does it mean to be trustworthy?
The University of Missouri Extension outlines trustworthiness in five bullet points:
- Being reliable or doing what you say you will do
- Doing the right thing even when it is not the easy choice
- Being loyal to friends and family
- Being honest in all circumstances
- Not deceiving, cheating or stealing
Put simply, being trustworthy means that others can count on you no matter what the circumstances.
The first step in teaching trustworthiness to your children is being trustworthy yourself. As mentioned by the University of Illinois Extension, the early years of a child’s life are a time in which to build your child’s trust in you. You do this by providing the essentials such as food and shelter, but also by following through on the things you say you will do for your children. If your children have trust in the ones who love them the most, they are more likely to become a trustworthy individual themselves.
Putting Trustworthiness into Practice
A child saying they will be trustworthy and actually putting that character trait into practice are two different things. Challenge your children to practice trustworthiness by some of the following as mentioned in this motherhood blog:
- Give responsibility – Give your children age-appropriate tasks to do around the home and then expect them to be done without a lot of reminders or pleas.
- Have consequences – When your child does not follow through with what you have asked of them, set age-appropriate consequences for them.
- Give explanations – Do not simply put expectations on your children without explaining why you are doing so. Talk with your child about why you are giving them certain responsibilities or consequences.
According to this character-building website, becoming a trustworthy individual means doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Teach your children to build this important pillar of character today so it will become second nature to them when they are older.