After being glued to the TV for the Three-Day Equestrian Event taking place in London, I came away marvelling at the strength and willingness of those magnificent animals – as well as their riders – to compete in Dressage, Cross Country and Show Jumping events, all within the course of three consecutive days. Grueling for both man and beast!
But even more incredible was the high level of trust that was so obvious between each horse and rider. Imagine taking a relatively dumb animal (I think horses are #10 on the Animal Intelligence list) over rough, hilly terrain with blind corners, unexpected turns and strange, intimidating jumps. Though the riders were well-prepared and knew in advance what to expect, the horses had no idea how high, how wide or what scary things were on the other side.
What interested me the most was watching the riders as they quietly encouraged their mounts – even a light tap with the crop when a horse hesitated was meant as a vote of confidence, not punishment. The trusting relationship between man and horse was beautiful to watch.
After the events were finished, my mind jumped to the importance of safety and security for optimal social and brain development in young children, and the necessity for trust in that arena.
How would you rate the level of trust in your family? And how do you create and nurture trust?
The three basic requirements for nurturing trust include:
How sincere are you in your interactions with others in your family, especially your young children? Do you engage in good eye contact? Do you spend quality time together? Do you avoid “empty praise”? Do you take time to listen?
Compentency in parenting is a bit harder to assess – often we parent the same way our parents did – or just the opposite! But do you take time evaluate what you really care about and want for your family? Do you have clear goals and strategies? If not, have you sought guidance from classes, books or your child’s teacher?
Realiability means keeping promises, setting and enforcing reasonable rules, picking your child up on time, not changing your mind all the time. There are many more examples of reliability, but you probably get the picture! Being reliable provides structure and security for your child and leads to trust.