A parent's lack of trust in a child is sure to leave all parties involved feeling very bad. You may feel guilty, suffocated, exposed, or embarrassed, while adults will feel exhausted, frustrated, and violated. However, no matter the level of fragility present in the relationship, it can be reconstructed. Through careful communication, calculated actions, and clear expectations, you can get them to trust you again (and vice versa).
Method 1 of 4: Communicating with Each Other
Step 1. Talk to your parents
Talk about how you are feeling, as it is possible that your perception of their judgment on your actions may not, in fact, be their opinion of something. Be proactive and ask them to sit down for a conversation, in a space free of distractions (electronics and other things), such as a neighborhood park.
Step 2. Listen to them
For communication to actually take place, it is necessary to speak and listen. Try to put yourself in their shoes to absorb what they are saying in the conversation; if they say something that you find offensive or confusing, ask. When the lines of communication are open, you will be dedicated to rebuilding the trusting relationship you once had.
Step 3. Apologize for violating their trust
A sincere request for forgiveness may be the best option to get your father and mother to trust you again; for this, demonstrate that you understood what you went wrong, what really happened and how it hurt them. Apologize and propose a way to prevent the mistake from happening again in the future.
- Try not to expect anything in return. It would be great if a simple apology fixed everything, but it's pretty unlikely. Your parents may not know the best way to respond when you apologize.
- The words are not that important, but rather make it clear that you have regretted it and are honestly apologizing.
- Another key part is forgiving yourself.
Step 4. Ask your parents what you can do to regain their trust
The most obvious way to find out is just asking how you should act to make it happen. It's normal that they don't have an answer on the tip of their tongue, but let them know that they can think and communicate to you later.
Be frank when answering their request. If you notice that the list of “tasks” for obtaining forgiveness is unreasonable, speak up without whining that you think you'll have a hard time living up to their expectations. Offer a compromise, a deal
Step 5. Have faith in your parents
Trust builds trust, so it will make them trust you; in fact, even if you feel that you don't trust them, at this point, it will be normal. Trust is a two-way street, that is, you must also win them over so that they have faith in your attitudes.
Method 2 of 4: Changing Your Actions
Step 1. Spend more time with your family
This attitude benefits the trust relationship in several ways: first, the parents will not be suspicious of something illicit that you can do, since you will be with them. Second, it will help you better understand and communicate with them so that the relationship is healthy again. Ultimately, both will remember your great qualities, like your sense of humor, rather than just seeing that breach of trust that has occurred.
Step 2. Demonstrate responsibility through actions
Finish your chores, come pick up your little brother from school, offer to help with the dishes after dinner. Showing responsibility on a daily basis will make your father and mother consider you mature. Although it may not be enough to re-establish the trusting relationship, it will be small steps, along with other aspects, such as noiseless communication, that will help a lot.
Step 3. Show that you care about them
Showing that you have affection for your parents, yourself, and the relationship is an important element of this "two-way street." Your affection can be shown in many ways, but acting and saying things you know will make others feel good is a good start.
Step 4. Fix broken relationships
If you've hurt someone besides your parents, violating other people's trust, apologize and try to fix the situation between you. Even if it sounds silly, do what your parents say can help restore their confidence. For example, washing your “old man” has nothing to do with confidence, but you show that you are willing to do whatever it takes.
Step 5. Demonstrate that you are ready to change
Showing a willingness to change your behavior-even on small tasks like making the bed, as your mother always asks-will send the message that you're likely to make big changes that are needed to regain confidence.
Method 3 of 4: Avoiding Situations That Lead to Distrust
Step 1. Control your emotions
Often, situations and experiences that destroy trust in a relationship are motivated by hasty decisions or made “in the heat” of the moment. Trying to act rationally and control your emotions can help you become a more genuine person. If you don't feel you can control feelings on your own, see a therapist and discuss strategies for dealing with this situation.
Step 2. Understand your parents' expectations
When you know what they don't want you to do, it's much simpler to avoid that situation. If in doubt about rules or expectations, ask; when you have recently breached trust, pay more attention to what activity or action they may find unacceptable. Don't be apologetic and go about your business right after an uncomfortable situation, as your parents may feel that you're just trying to “kid ass” and give the impression that everything is fine. Instead, wait a while; it takes a long time to regain trust after breaking it.
Step 3. Follow house rules
You won't live with your parents forever, and they're likely to have “rules” or expectations about what to do and what not to do while living in their home. Don't break the rules, even if you consider them unenforceable.
- Remember that eventually you will have your own home and be able to live however you like in the future.
- Even though it feels like an eternity before you leave your parents' house, time will pass and you'll get on with your life as you like.
Step 4. Avoid what caused the trust between you to shake
Did any person, habit, activity or event break the bonds they had? Avoid that anyway; when you feel you need help so that it doesn't happen again, ask for help.
- When the subject is the abuse of illegal substances, for example, it is recommended to seek specialized help to combat addiction.
- If you've ever noticed that you've been influenced by a friend to make the wrong decisions, maybe it's time to walk away from him.
Method 4 of 4: Overcoming Certain Breaches of Trust
Step 1. Regain confidence after a lie
After hurting your relationship with your father and mother by telling a lie, it's important to try to be honest from that point on - especially if you already have a history of deceiving others. Showing that you are committed to speaking only the truth and being honest is the way to rebuild a relationship based on trust; unfortunately, this may take a long time.
Step 2. Talk about breaking specific rules
When the nature of your transgression involved breaking a specific rule your parents set-such as not drinking before age 18 or staying home until a certain time-discuss those impositions with them.
- It is important that you understand what these guidelines are, why they exist, and how to follow them.
- Having a frank conversation with your parents can help you make better decisions in the future.
Step 3. Try to make it up to someone you've hurt
Your parents may have been sad or disappointed by some of your actions; try to understand their feelings and make up.
Put yourself in their shoes and reflect on how you too would like an apology to mend a strain between you
Step 4. Take responsibility for actions of vandalism
If you have vandalized public property or crashed your car, you will need to pay for damages. This includes manual work on your part, such as painting walls that have been graffiti, applying wax to remove scratches from the car or removing the toilet paper that you threw on trees. However, if you crashed a friend's car while driving, for example, you may need to pay the repair fee.
Step 5. Accept financial responsibilities
A wrong attitude may have cost you dearly, so you will need to offer financial compensation to this part. Even if you have to give your entire salary for a few months, accepting this financial responsibility will demonstrate that you understand the consequences of your actions.
- Dedicate yourself and look for opportunities to take the initiative and take responsibility.
- You and your parents may need time and space to calm down. When you have a cool head, try to resume the conversation.
- Time is the best medicine. It may take a long time to regain your parents' trust, but it will, if only because they raised you. Do not lose hope.
- Understand that humans, meaning both you and your father and mother, are imperfect and can make mistakes.
- It is difficult to regain parental trust. If you've done something really bad, having been sneaky, like running away from home at night, don't forget to apologize!
- Small things help too: do chores without your mom asking, get good grades at school, tell her she's beautiful and you love her, prepare breakfast for your parents, give mom a foot massage, help your dad to fix furniture, buy him a shirt, tell him he's someone special to you too, and so on.
- Ask what you can do to regain their trust, but not right after a conflict. This can give the impression that you just want to get out of trouble.