I’ve found that the greatest gift anyone can give a person is trust.
Mostly trust is earnt. Sometimes it can be broken. Special times, trust can be given out of grace and then be rewarded by living up to that trust.
So there is a time for trusting, a time for training and never a time for tempting.
Let me illustrate. If you leave a wallet full of hundred dollar bills on a table in front of a stranger, that is tempting. If you are leaving your wallet with a friend while you go to the bathroom, that is trusting. At what point does the marker move from tempting into trusting? At what point does training a person to trust translate into actually being able to trust that person?
I’ve trusted troubled kids to do the right thing and they have often rewarded my trust by being the child I trusted them to be. Other times, I have misplaced my trust and seen it thrown in the dirt and trampled on. What have I learnt? When is it right to trust and when is it proper to train?
I wish I knew.
From what I have gathered these are my musings on the topic. You should always trust, your opposite behaviour should not be classified as distrust but rather as tempting. The balance is not when to trust, but rather are you trusting them by asking the kids to not wake the baby while you hang the clothes or are you tempting them by giving them a new drum kit on their birthday and asking them not to play it until the week after?
How do you build trust so that when you tell them ‘You can paint as long as they don’t make a mess’, or ‘You can hang out with your friends as long as you get your homework done afterwards when you come home’, they actually do it?
Be proud of them every time they have proven to be trustworthy. Verbalise this! ‘I left you to do that all by yourself, and you did well.’ ‘I’m proud of you for…’
Keep trusting them! Don’t be played the fool when they are lying to you or have no conviction behind what they promise to do but you need to keep trusting them.