Trust Begins at Home: Some Practical Tips for Parents

Barbara Kimmel
3 min readJul 8, 2023

Are you building a family foundation of trust? Have you taught your kids about trust? If you are like most parents, the answer is “No.” Yet the family is where trust training begins.

You might say “Trust cannot be taught. It’s something we take for granted, always assuming it is present.” In reality, trust is a learned competence. As Stephen M.R. Covey reminds us ,”It is something that you can get good at, something you can measure and improve, something for which you can “move the needle.”

Sadly, mistrust is also a learned behavior.

An infant’s psychosocial development begins with the trust versus mistrust stage according to psychologist Erik Erikson’s theory. Beginning at birth and lasting until your child is around 18 months old, it is the most important period of your child’s life, as it shapes their view of the world as well as their overall personality.

Children raised by consistently unreliable, unpredictable parents who fail to meet these basic needs eventually develop an overall sense of mistrust. Murphy G, Peters K, Wilkes L, Jackson D. Childhood parental mental illness: Living with fear and mistrust.

Mistrust can cause children to become fearful, confused, and anxious, all of which make it difficult to form healthy relationships. This, in turn, can lead to poor social support, isolation, and loneliness.

Think about the trust impact on your kids when they hear you say the following



Barbara Kimmel

Founder Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. Author of Award Winning TRUST Inc. series