Creative Child

Gift Trust This Valentine’s Day

by Deborah Song


3. Don’t trivialize feelings. Telling a child who is afraid of the dark that there’s nothing to be afraid of, or trying to reassure a crying child that it’s only a tiny bump and that it doesn’t hurt contradicts a child’s feelings. While you don’t want to overreact and dote on his every misgiving, it’s important to validate a child’s feelings. Instead of trivializing your child’s pain away, or trying to heal his pain with a simple solution, sometimes the best thing to do when a child is sad or in pain is to hold him when he cries. It’s important that your child knows you’re there for him and that you validate his feelings.

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4. Don’t abandon your child. Abandonment comes in many forms. You may never leave your child alone at a mall, but if your child is repeatedly subject to a situation she finds intimidating without a proper support system, she will feel abandoned. Sending your child to school where she is verbally bullied by a classmate with no help in sight, for instance, can cause a child to grow up having trust issues in the future. What might seem like a silly problem to a grownup may be terrifying for a child. It’s important first to validate they’re feelings. Then to minimize their fears and pain with the right support system.

5. Be open. Admitting your own flaws openly to your child creates a safe haven for your child to open up as well. In feeling accepted, your child will learn to trust others.

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6. Model integrity. The reasons why we should keep promises to our children and be honest with them is obvious. But parents often fall into the trap of overpromising out of guilt. Integrity is also about being true to ourselves. Promise only what is reasonable. And try your best not to tell lies, even white lies.

7. Don’t blame or minimize. If your child has done something wrong, hold your child accountable. A lie is a lie, even if it’s about stickers. Don’t minimize his mistakes because they seem harmless, or project blame onto his friends. By correcting your child’s mistake and expecting him to make the right choice going forward, you are trusting him to do better next time.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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