TRUST – 2 (Following my blog Trust.)
Reading the Speed of Trust made me reflect deeply into everyday aspects of trust in our daily life. For instance, in a family with low trust, conflicts arise because one person accuses another of something; one blames another for their grievances. They feel like strangers living in the same house. In a high trust family, one person will not accuse another even if something goes wrong. Instead they will empathize and forgive the mistake or work together to find a solution. What kind of environment did you grow up in? What type of environment are you re-creating now as an adult?
I can imagine that many families grew up in low-trust environments. In some families, the contradictions are even greater because they believe the facade that they are a “close-family” and somewhat more “open” than other families. There is a simple way to determine whether it’s a high trust family or not: You’re comfortable saying anything to the other person without being afraid of their reaction.
What is the effect of growing up in a low-trust environment? It makes it very hard for the child to trust their parents and this eventually creates a divide that perpetuates itself for a lifetime.
Is that what we want, to strive hard and raise children who grow up to distrust us and dislike us? Children who have to carry the burden of guilt for not liking or trusting their own parents very much? How does it feel to a child to love someone they cannot trust? What does it do to you an adult if you wereto love someone you cannot trust? – Hurt.
– Layers and layers of hurt.
I think we’ve underestimated the intangible power of Trust. It is something we desire so strongly that even if we are denied it at our “First base”, our family – we continue to seek it, among peers, at our workplace, in intimate relationships.
When we read in the papers about runaway teenagers or young people who get into all sorts of trouble, it is so easy to point our finger and say, “Irresponsible Parenting” or “Ungrateful young people”. Could it be that their drive to find Trust magnetizes them to Peddlers of False Trust waiting for them at the fringes of society? (Underground world, pedophiles, victimizers,etc).
When we think deeper into this issue of Trust it forces us to take back the responsibility we have been shifting to our children. We expect children to do this, achieve this, and behave a certain way. What if the reason children are living in discord with us is because they have to live in a low-trust environment we have created? In a low trust environment, people don’t listen to each other, people don’t believe in the other person’s goodness and integrity and abilities. You will hear phrases like these :
- What makes you think you can do that?
- Do you think you’re better than everyone else.
Maybe you can come up with more phrases you’ve heard at home/school/work which depicts a manifestation of low-trust relationships.
The list could go on and on. It can include witholding information from another person because we’re afraid we wouldn’t have an upper-hand over them or that they would use that information against us. In a low-trust environment, criticism rules. But have we forgotten, people DO NOT RESPOND TO CRITICISM?
One of the hardest yet most significant things that have come out from my unschoooling adventure is to learn how to trust my child. When I was first acquainted with FamilyPlace, I had the entire range of “How To” questions; exams, qualifications, curriculum, sub-contracting to a centre, materials, preparation – all those “physical world questions”.
I approached the idea of homeschooling the way I was trained to approach schooling and work: “Pencils, textbooks, notebooks, homework, pocket money, checked, checked, checked” ; “Ironed clothes, briefcase, laptop, wallet, handphone, car keys, keycard – checked, checked, checked.”
But we don’t exist only in the Physical Plane, do we?
I have to give credit to T.Harv Ecker for illuminating the idea of how our subconscious runs our life on autopilot. Everything that we see that is happening in our physical world, from the way our children behave to how we nurture their well-being is rooted in what happens in the mental, emotional and spiritual realm of the child.
A low-trust environment cripples all their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being to an extent that no medication, incarceration or church will help. In fact, bringing children to spiritual places will create an even greater conflict within them. – Why are my parents wanting me to be spiritual when I feel spiritually wounded at home with them? It creates an even greater distrust that adults are “spiritual” yet unkind at home.
A child’s spirituality is defined by their purpose, drive and preferences in life. Sometimes they come up with coping mechanisms, “shields-up” to protect what they want to defend as their right. But then they are called “stubborn”. The label automatically illegitimises everything the child had no chance to defend, making a person feel morally deficit for trying to stand up for what they believe is right. A high-trust environment would’ve brought the issue into a conversation, to hear each other out and to fill in the gaps of perception each has of the other’s stand.
How about a child’s emotional needs? A child should not be teased or made to feel that if they made mistakes they would be denied love and attention. Since emotions are something more easily identifiable than our spiritual needs, I shall leave it to you to reflect on how many times growing up you were made to feel less valuable, unwanted, unloved, rejected, ostracized, ignored.
A child’s mental needs, their cognitive processes, are about how they learn and understand the world around them. The more we feel we are in control of how they learn the more embattled we will feel. We’re not in control of how their minds are wired. Genetics doesn’t play a 100% role otherwise we’d all just be clones of one another. The miracle of life could not possibly be that predictable. The Universe by its very Nature, is Creative, thus children will bring with them Minds of their Own. That is something we need to get it in us – that they are our Children, not our Clones. They may physicallyresemble us but they come with a Mind wired differently.
It has not been easy asking me to trust my daughter who can sleep like she will never have a chance to sleep again. I used to have to do morning battles with her to get her ready for school – battles which left me drained and hurt for the rest of the day. And the next day – repeat on cue.
By the time the weekend came along, I don’t even want to spend any more time with her than necessary. I’d prefer a time-out, and when I do take time-out, I am overwhelmed by guilt. That is definitely not the way to live. Battles ruined the trust and love between us.
Building Trust at home between us and our parents, between us and our spouse, between us and our neighbors, relatives and then our children must be something we didn’t expect to have to deal with in our homeschooling decision.
Since our physical dimension is a fruition of what goes on in our mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions I’d hedge my bets that when I take care of the soil and the environment the Child is growing up in, the sweet fruits will ripen in time. The Child, like a Seed, knows what tree it was meant to be. It only depends on the environment it had to grow.
Just when I finished writing this article, I caught this video on my Facebook wall posted by a former student. Her comment was, “Sounds like my mom……just fatter version”. You know what, I think sometimes we have to take ourselves less seriously and try Downstream Parenting. Once you’ve gone downstream, upstream seems like a total waste of life! Love to hear your feedback.
ENJOY THIS VIDEO! (You can also read my previous blog.