Think about a machine. What does it do? How does it perform efficiently? How is it assembled? Every machine is a little different with all the moving parts, but the one thing all machines have in common is that they all need grease to work properly or there’s potential for a lot of friction.
Grease keeps a machine running, just like trust keeps a relationship running. When a relationship has mutual trust, communication is easier; everything is easier and amazing things can happen. Without trust, a relationship is like a wheel without grease—it doesn’t work. Trust plays a fundamental role in every relationship.
Although trust is easy to break and difficult to get back once it’s broken, with time and effort it is possible to become realigned and create a relationship that is stronger than ever.
Here are a few practical tools and ideas for you to rebuild trust with your teen.
A lot of times, teens are in a position where they’re not confident enough or don’t have a strong desire to build trust. In this case, you as a parent will have to be the one to initiate it. Begin by evaluating your own shortcomings and start to repair the trust from your end. Identify your own choices and recognize that you might not be quite where you need to be for your teen to really trust you. Then, make a list with your co-parent about what is possibly tearing apart your relationship with your teen. Once you’ve done this, be straightforward and sincere in your proposal to rebuild the trust with your child.
It’s powerful to let your teen know that the lack of trust between you has brought your relationship to a halt, just like a wheel would without grease. If you don’t do what you need to do to repair it, the components of the relationship are in serious danger of permanent damage. Find a good time to have this conversation and let them know of your sincere desire to strengthen your relationship. When they can see that you’re working to do your part and there is mutual understanding, it’ll be easier for them to open themselves up and build mutual trust again.
Trust is mutual—if one side isn’t ready to fully trust again, you can’t force it on them and make it happen right away. When you have the conversation, let your teen know that you don’t expect an answer right away and give them time to think about things. Their side of the story is just as valid as yours, so take the time to hear them out and understand where they’re coming from.
These initial steps are crucial when it comes to rebuilding trust with your teen, and following through with your commitment to change will be an important element as well. Think about the meaningful relationships in your life and think about what you can do to improve them—trust is a powerful thing, so go ahead and harness it.
If you would like to hear more about this topic, you can listen to the Not by Chance Podcast episode “Trust in a Relationship is Like Grease in a Wheel” with Dr. Tim Thayne on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Mike is one of those brilliant, self-taught, back end developers that you always hear about. As a youth he could trust that “My mother would love me no matter what . . .” When he isn’t cranking out new code, Mike keeps up on the newest technologies and every Tuesday and Thursday nights he trains SpeedSoft with his team.
Rafael has his degree in Marketing and Advertising and years of experience with our dev team. As a teen he could trust that “The most important thing in life is love, and the most valuable things are our family and friends.” When he isn’t working on making the website and mobile versions of Trustyy seamless and functional, he unwinds by exploring nature. His favorite activities are climbing mountains, camping, going to the beach, swimming, playing the harmonica and always learning new things.
Afton’s experience is in marketing and bookkeeping. As a teen she could trust that with her parents “Feeding the horses and milking the cow each day before school–not after–was a must.” When she isn’t busy with keeping Trustyy’s lights on, you’ll usually find her roller skating at the local rink or on car rides in the canyons with friends.
Nicoli has a degree in Multimedia Production. She has worked with our team of developers for three years. She learned to trust her own parents when they taught her “Things won’t come easy and that working hard will bring me great blessings!” When she isn’t putting together beautiful marketing pieces for the Trustyy App she likes to take pictures, play the guitar, piano, and drums, meet up with her family to laugh over the silly things they did as kids.
Adriano is certified in Analysis and Systems Development. In his family he could trust the fact that “One difficult experience teaches me that failure is not the end, but rather an opportunity for growth and learning.” When he is away from his work in making sure the Trustyy App buttons and bells and whistles are working properly, he likes to go to the gym, to the beach to surf, on walks with his dog, or go out with his girlfriend.
Lucas’s work experience in User Experience, Interface Design and Product Management. As a teen he could trust that “In my home honesty was highly valued and lying was not tolerated.” When he isn’t at work making sure the Trustyy App is easy on the eyes, Lucas likes hiking, gaming, going out for dinner, and spending time with family.
Cadu has his education in Analysis and System Development. While growing up he could always trust that “My parents would be there to support from playing soccer at the park to learning to ride a bike.” When he isn’t making sure things are easily navigated for our Trustyy App users, he likes to play beach soccer and enjoy music of any type, but specifically rock, country, R&B, and pop.
Mike is one of those brilliant, self-taught, back-end developers that you always hear about. As a youth he could trust that “My mother would love me no matter what.” When he isn’t cranking out new code, Mike keeps up on the newest technologies and every Tuesday and Thursday nights he trains SpeedSoft with his team.
Roxanne received her bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education. She has worked in publishing and marketing for the past 14 years. In her family Roxanne says she could trust that “Her grammar and posture would be consistently corrected, to help her to become a lady.” When she isn’t busy writing and beautifying things for the Trustyy App, you can find her reading biographies, practicing yoga, or gathering the family to talk business, celebrate wins or just plain hang out.
Sidney has a bachelor’s degree in Web Development and has worked in technology for 16 years, building apps for the last 10 years. Growing up he could trust that “It was always expected that I would fix anything related to technology.” When he isn’t managing the development of the Trustyy App, you will find him spending time with his wife and kids. He loves to make Brazillian BBQ with his family.
Jim has a degree in Design and over 25 years of experience creating SaaS products and managing talented product and development teams. In his years at home as the oldest of five he could trust that “Each child got a weekly ‘night-up’ where we got to stay up late with a parent and do anything we wanted with them.” When he isn’t looking 10 miles down the road for what will come next on the Trustyy App, you will find Jim canyoneering, doing photography, watercolor painting, or keeping up on the latest gadgets and technologies.
Eric earned his degree in Communications, Public Relations and Advertising, then added on an MBA. He says he could trust that “His parents were honest people who kept their commitments–especially to their kids.” When Eric isn’t keeping everyone at Trustyy on task, he is an outdoor enthusiast, year around, rain or shine, cold or hot, with biking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Tim earned masters and doctoral degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, and has 30 years of experience working with families. While growing up Tim says he could trust that “My mother would love me no matter what, and that my dad would require that I respect my mother.” When he isn’t busy guiding the vision for the Trustyy App, you can find Tim working around the house and yard, taking care of his sheep, dogs and horses, or enjoying a game of Corn Hole with the family.