Trust The Children

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Environment of Trust

How important is trust in the education of your child? Trust between you and them. Trust between siblings?

How effective is instruction in a home where parents don't trust one another?

What if you were sending your children to a public school, and found out that the faculty and staff there had little or no trust one for another? Would you consider that the lack of trust between teachers would have an impact on your child?

Trust is the foundational element in all human relationships. I suppose we begin a relationship with a certain assumption of trust. Then over time our assumption is either vindicated or eroded based on experience.

Trust grows or wanes like this:

From Wikipedia, "In 1958 [William] Schutz introduced a theory of interpersonal relations he called Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO). According to the theory three dimensions of interpersonal relations were deemed to be necessary and sufficient to explain most human interaction. The dimensions are: Inclusion, Control and Affection. These dimensions have been used to assess group dynamics."

Trust then, grows or wanes in these three areas much like this diagram.

Schultz makes the point, that each of these three areas must be developed at a reasonable depth between people in order for productive human relationships to be experienced.

For instance, some people who have been abused or who have been abusers, have very low trust scores generally. Therefore in the area of control, they often need over-under relationships with other people instead of equal relationships. One way they accomplish this is passive resistance, showing up late to meetings, etc. President Clinton and his wife are notorious for this behavior, as is President Obama. Shouting down other people. Using moods to manipulate others, staring others down when a disagreement ensues, all because they need total control of not only their own environment, but of others as well.

Similar behaviors are also found in the areas of inclusion and affection. Inclusion asks "am I in or am I out?" Others want to keep others out, especially when they are insecure about their own position or feel they are hiding something. Affection asks the question, "how close are we going to get?" Some people, needing to hide something or because of fear, keep others at a distance or pick one or two as their objects of affection, excluding others. These are scarcity mentalities in any case.

In any group, when major violations of trust have occurred, back stabbing, back biting, blocking, hindering, etc. the group finds itself stuck cycling around and around with no way for progress to be made in the group dynamic.

The point of this is that growing children is like growing plants. It's a lot about the environment. Whether at home or at a public school, when the environment is over controlling, lacking inclusion and affection, the children may do their duty and continue the educational experience, but they will not escape without harm, sometimes significant harm.

If you were to measure your trust environment, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you measure it?

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