Kim Muench, Becoming Me Thought Leader
“HELP! How can I rebuild trust with my young adult daughter who has lied, stolen from me, and is low contact unless she needs money?”
Trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, especially between parents and their children. When a breach occurs, it can be particularly challenging to mend the broken bonds. If you find yourself grappling with a strained relationship with your young adult, characterized by lies, theft, and only occasional contact when financial needs arise, rebuilding trust is a crucial step toward healing.
Before diving into the process of rebuilding trust, it’s essential to understand the underlying reasons for the strained relationship. Young adulthood is a tumultuous phase marked by self-discovery, independence, and a desire for autonomy. It’s possible your daughter’s actions are rooted in a need for control or a struggle to assert her independence. Additionally, external influences such as peer pressure, personal challenges, or mental health issues may contribute to her behavior.
“Approach the conversation with empathy, avoid blame or accusations. Share your feelings and concerns, and encourage her to express her own emotions.”
The first step towards rebuilding trust is establishing open and honest communication. Schedule a time to talk with your daughter, ensure it’s a neutral and comfortable environment (perhaps in a favorite restaurant over lunch). Approach the conversation with empathy, avoid blame or accusations. Share your feelings and concerns, and encourage her to express her own emotions.
Active listening is crucial during this exchange – make an effort to understand her perspective without judgment. I know this may be difficult to do, and yet It’s important.
An Open And Honest Relationship:
If you played a role in the breakdown of trust, take responsibility for your actions. Apologize sincerely and acknowledge any mistakes you may have made. Demonstrating humility can set the tone for a more open and honest relationship. By modeling accountability, you create a foundation for mutual understanding and respect.
Clearly define and communicate your expectations for the relationship moving forward. Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial for rebuilding trust. Ensure these boundaries are fair, reasonable, and conducive to both parties’ well-being. This may include guidelines regarding financial support, communication frequency, and mutual respect. Work with a therapist or parenting coach if you struggle to put this together on your own.
Trust is not rebuilt overnight; it is a gradual process that requires consistency. Demonstrate through your actions that you are committed to rebuilding the relationship. If financial issues were a point of contention, consider setting up a structured plan for support that encourages financial responsibility on her part. Consistency in communication and follow-through on promises will help rebuild the foundation of trust.
Empathy is a powerful tool in repairing relationships. Make an effort to understand your daughter’s perspective and emotions, even if they differ from your own. By demonstrating genuine empathy, you create an environment where she feels heard and understood. This emotional connection can pave the way for healing and rebuilding trust. Just because you acknowledge her perspective does not mean you have to agree with it.
“Choose activities that you both enjoy and that allow for relaxed, open communication.”
Family Therapist Or Parenting Coach:
Sometimes, rebuilding trust may require the assistance of a professional, such as a family therapist or parenting coach. A neutral third party can provide insights into the dynamics of the relationship and offer guidance on effective communication and conflict resolution. A therapeutic environment can create a safe space for both parties to express their feelings and work towards a healthier relationship.
Engaging in positive and enjoyable activities together can help rebuild the emotional connection between you and your daughter. Choose activities that you both enjoy and that allow for relaxed, open communication. These shared experiences can create lasting memories and strengthen the emotional bond that may have been strained.
Rebuilding trust with a young adult daughter who has lied, stolen, and maintained low contact can be a challenging journey, but it is not impossible. Through open communication, sincere apologies, boundary setting, consistent actions, empathy, and, if necessary, professional support, you can work towards healing the wounds and fostering a healthier relationship.
Remember that trust is a two-way street, and both parties must be committed to the process. Be patient, remain open-minded, and celebrate the small victories along the way as you rebuild the trust that forms the foundation of a strong parent-child relationship.
About the Author:
Kim Muench (pronounced minch, like pinch with an “m”) is a Jai (rhymes with buy) Institute for Parenting Certified Conscious Parenting Coach who specializes in working with mothers of adolescents (ages 10+). Knowing moms are the emotional barometer in their families, Kim is passionate about educating, supporting and encouraging her clients to raise their children with intention and guidance rather than fear and control. Kim’s three plus decades parenting five children and years of coaching other parents empowers her to lead her clients into healthier, happier, more functional relationships with compassion and without judgment.