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Strengthening Families – Building Trust

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Just like Rome, trust isn't build in a day either. Building trust among our family members usually doesn't happen through one event, but instead takes time, patience, and a number of daily experiences. These experiences, built up over time provide us with trusting relationships with one another.

Building Trusting Families

Here are three things we can do on a daily basis to help build trust in our families.

1. Provide safety. When our family members know they are emotionally and physically safe they are willing to let down their guard and trust. Safety gives us sub-conscience permission to be ourselves, to explore our roles in our family, and gives us a willingness to confide in others. How do we provide safety? We listen without criticizing, we keep confidences, we don't interrupt one another when we are talking, and we honor each others thoughts and opinions. This means that when our son wants to talk about Star Wars Lego's for the 10th time in one day, we find a way to still listen with respect, love, and intent.

2. Protect belongings. This one might sound funny, but it is particularly important to our children. Helping our children protect their belongings builds trust. This might mean we keep youngsters out of their older siblings rooms when they are not home. It means we help them find special places to keep their special things, and when they have an interest or hobby, we help them cultivate their bug collection or store their rock collection. By helping them to protect their belongings they know they can trust us with their special things and that we support their passions and interests.

3. Provide support. To really build trust our family members must know they are supported. Each of our family members will fee supported in different ways. Our son feels supported when I listen to him. Our daughter feels supported when I play with her and when I make time to be at her events, no matter how big, or how prestigious. It doesn't matter if she has the lead in the play, or a small supporting role with no spoken lines, I need to do all I can to be there. We provide support when we attend their events and cheer them on. We also provide support when we don't forget. For example, our daughter loves crazy hair day at school. I show her my support when I don't forget the day is coming up and when I am prepared and ready to help her with her hair for the big day. This shows her that what is important to her, is also important to me. It lets her know she can trust me with her passions, and that I am excited when she is.

Although they sound very simple, providing safety, protecting belongings and providing support on a daily basis in our family members lives builds lasting trust that bonds our families together through thick and thin.

Trust Word Search


Want to have some fun teaching your family about Trust and getting the trust conversation started? Download the Trust Word Search by clicking here.

To access all of the Super Hero Family eBooks, including the Trust eBook, click here.

How do you build trust with your family members?


Heather Johnson, M.S., teaches students the principles behind successful families at Brigham Young University. You can find her online at, and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.


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