Sometimes our children tell us things that seem pretty trivial to us; but to them, it's really important, and they wouldn't tell just anybody. If you show interest in these "little things", and prove yourself to be trustworthy, it won't be so hard for them to be open with you when the "big things" come and they need someone in whom they can confide. You, Parent, should be the one they run to when they just need someone to talk to. They shouldn't be afraid that you'll grab the phone or go online to share it with your best friend as soon as you get the chance.
I recently heard someone speak of a father who didn't keep his child's confidence. He repeatedly shared with others things that she had shared with him, knowing that she didn't wish him to do so. Eventually, she stopped telling him anything.
I can't say that I've never failed in this area; I'm sure I have. But I've tried to be oh, so careful to let my children know that they can trust me with their problems, questions, and embarrassments.
Parents, when your child confides in you, don't take it for granted. Do everything possible to let them know that what they have talked about with you is safe with you. Even if it's something like a first crush, and it's so cute you feel like you have to share it, don't. The damage you will do to their trust isn't worth the chuckles you'll get from your appreciative "audience".
This may sound a little backward but, if you're not sure that your child wants you to repeat something they have told you, ask them if it's okay. Don't just think that since you're the parent you have the right to spill whatever you wish. It doesn't work that way. Ask their "permission" as it were, before you repeat it. You'll build a foundation of respect and trust that will last a lifetime.
When your children can confide in you and trust you with what they say, it helps to build their faith and trust in God in a huge way. It's true: how they think about you will most likely be how they think about God. What a huge responsibility we have!
If they can't confide in you, who can they talk to?
Jessica Geise is a follower of Jesus Christ, the wife of an amazing husband, and the mother of four children who are the loves of her life. She is passionate about homeschooling, enjoys spending time with her family more than anything else, would rather buy a new book than new clothes, is always starting on a diet, and thinks that chocolate is the next-best medicine to laughter. Other than reading, her favorite hobbies are music, decorating, blogging, and making attempts at photography. She blogs about this, that, and the other at www.itsthelittlethings4.