Tuesday, August 01, 2006


How do you know that you trust someone or even better that they trust you?

I actually did a little experiment with my children one day a few months ago. I bought this lime salty stuff at a mexican market that I grew up eating at my grandma's when I was little.

I did not show it to the kids, I only said to them to close their eyes and open their mouth.

First let me add that I have always said that my older and younger sons are my "bookends" They are very similar in personality ,very social, lots of friends, and I would say the 2 closest to mama's boys out of the 4. Now my two middle children: one boy, one girl, are very independent but are pleasers. They always go along with things just to make people happy. They have tons of friends and are very social.

So I start with the girl (3rd born middle child) She can't stop laughing and will not keep her eyes shut, each time I get near her she says "hold on" then tries to get me to tell her what it is.
(In my eyes- she has flunked the test- NO trust)

Then I move on to child # 4, boy (the baby but 7yrs old) He swings his head back: opens his mouth; and waits patiently. I pour it in and he loves it.
(A+, he trusts me whole heartedly)

Son #2 is next (middle child) Won't even consider it, walks out of the room, I follow him because obviously as a mother: I AM OFFENDED! He insists that he knows that I am going to put mayonnaise on his tongue, which of course he despises! I plead with him and assure him that I would NEVER do anything of the sort! He refuses.

Now understand, NOONE has witnessed the others test so none of the kids could be swayed.

Son #1 (first born) Whips his head back and sticks his tongue out to timbuktu! TOTALLY trusts me.

I feel that I have raised my children pretty similar and they have always had the same rules and more importantly,
the same discipline.

It makes me wonder...is trust earned, is it in how your personalities click, did I somehow lose my middle children's trust?

I have a friend who has a 2 year old son. I just love him to death. He is the fifth born in his family. At times he is leery of some people but for the most part he is very social. How could he not be being the fifth born?
Last week he was at my house and was coming down the stairs just as I was passing the stairway, he still had about 4-5 more stairs to go. I look up (while walking) and he leaps into my arms. I had a stack of folded towels that I dropped to catch him.
But, I must say, he trusts me. I did tell him..."You shouldn't trust me like that!"
I am sure that if I had missed that it would have been all over for him and me.

I wonder...Do I have this 2 year olds trust until I lose it?
If this is true then I must have lost my middle children's trust.
My oldest is 15, so I guess I must really have a great record with him!!!

I know that my children trust me with the big stuff like taking care if them and jumping in front of a moving car to save them kind of stuff, they even trust me with who they like and vice versa...but in one of those types of camps...you know...the one where you have to fall into your friends arms or even strangers arms...I don't think that I have my middle kids trust there.
So would I be safe falling into their arms?

Trust, to me is a huge gift, it's precious, it's fragile, and it's crucial in a relationship. I have raised my kids to respect others who trust them with their confidence. I work very hard not to invade their privacy, but know that I am still very involved in their life. It is a fine line to not cross and it is definitely the hardest job I have ever had.

So I will continue to earn the trust in that area with my kids, I just gotta figure out how.

Just a thought to ponder!


tess said...

Maybe the ones that did not trust you thought you were going to put vinigar in there mouth.

movin'mom said...

hahaha very funny Tess!
you know the first born was the vinegar kid of all time so that blows your funny theory out. good try though

Mom101 said...

This is a great thought to ponder! I love your little experiment. And yet here I am, thinking you were going to put something really bad in their mouths.

I would say you haven't lost your middle child's trust so much as he's learning to trust himself for the first time. Soon he'll learn that he can balance one with the other--and as your oldest proves, you're a great mom who's going to allow him that much.

Nicole said...

Food for thought...

I think most of their personalities is innate and there's not much you can do to change it. I doubt you lost his trust! I can tell you are very trustworthy.

Ellie said...

It could have been thier ages sweetie. My two year old totally trusts me...will he when he is 8 knows more about the world and is more skeptical(sp)

Sassy said...

I would have trusted you! It all comes down to personality.