I have asked a question on how to Earn your kid's trust and getting them to confide in you and "complain" about getting bullied

The question is

How not to lose the trust now that you earned it while also effectively protecting the kid from bullying?

You heard from the kid themselves or from a teacher or in any other way. What should you do? Visit the principal ask for explanations (maybe threaten litigation) ask to speak with the bully's parents and get the bully to explain themselves and publicly apologize? How vigorous and non-tolerant can you be so that you are effective in the long-term (you will not be able to protect the kid if you lose their trust)?


1 Answer 1


These are my thoughts about how to build and maintain trust between a parent and child:

  • be predictable, in all of your actions, with all of your words, you must be predictable for your child to trust you
  • be available, by really listening to your child, and sharing your thoughts with them, because this creates an emotional connection that is vital for your child to have trust in you
  • be honest with your child, even when the truth is an ugly truth. They already know, so trying to soften the situation will only demonstrate that you aren't telling them the whole truth, and that will errode trust, so be honest, even if it breaks your heart, be honest with your child.
  • keep all of your comments age-appropriate, because children, all the way up to the 18yo's, are still working to make sense of the world, and they need you to talk at a level that they can understand
  • be persistent, even if what you are getting are objections from your child, you must be persistent in being there for them, reaching out to them, and telling them the truth of how deeply you care about them, for them to trust you
  • work through a problem with your child. You have to be the big strong parent that protects them, but the way you demonstrate that you are big enough and strong enough to protect them is to work with your child to explore the options for how to solve a problem.
  • tell your child before you take any action, because surprising your child will errode trust. They need to know what you're going to do on their behalf, before you do it, so they know what's going on.
  • I can't exactly ask them what do they sugggest I do to solve the problem (bullying). They came to me to complain (ask for help). I must help them. I can easily tell them before I take any action. -Kid I was bullied. -Me I will do this and that today. Notheless I don't always have the time. When the teacher is the one telling me about the bullying waiting for the next day to speak up isn't the best thing to do to solve the problem. May 30, 2022 at 5:52
  • @GeorgeNtoulos That might be your misunderstanding: complain =/= ask for help. First listen to what the child is telling you, and if they seem to want help (not just sympathy) then ask them what kind of help they want.
    – Esther
    Feb 27 at 20:44

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