Girl waiting for friends - checking her phone

Trust and respect are two vital ingredients in a friendship. Without them how can you have a true friendship? We need to teach this to our children so they can recognise their genuine friends as they grow and form their own relationships.

Consequences of No Trust

  • Not being able to tell your friend how you feel, your thoughts or your secrets. What if they tell others?
  • Not knowing whether what they are saying is right or true. You should be able to believe your friends.
  •  Not trusting them with your emotions or that they’ll do things they said they would.
  • A lack of respect – allowing that friend to treat you badly or not consider your thoughts or your feelings. Or perhaps you do not respect them because they’ve let you down and aren’t acting like a true friend.

Trust and respect can be there at some point but then people change, things happen and it’s gone. Both need to be present in a friendship, so what happens when the trust is gone? Can you still be friends? Can you get the trust back?

Regaining Trust

If your child has a friendship that’s lost trust but doesn’t want to lose it (and the friend wants the same), they need to talk about getting it back. That will mean deciding on what needs to change.

  • What caused the breakdown? Try to be objective and be honest about what’s happened.
  • Does anyone’s behaviour need to change or to do things differently?
  • Does there need to be any compromise? Once we have a better understanding of the situation, try to work together to improve things.
  • Maybe there needs to be an apology to move forward.

If either child believes that the trust has gone forever then there’s no hope for it to be repaired. This may be for the best if they’ve been treated badly or found new friends better suited to them.

Your child needs to see that right now they cannot be friends. In the future who knows?

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