Here I am: Trust

queen annes laceThe rain has returned, bringing a different kind of beauty to the garden and hedgerows. All along our lane, the verges are becoming a sea of Queen Anne’s Lace. So beautiful and dreamy. I’m hoping that the local farmers put off their zealous cutting for a little bit longer.

forget me notsThis week seems to be dominated by trust. I think it’s one of the most testing elements of being a parent. For me, at least. I trust my children. I know them. Eldest will spend up to an hour each day, telling me about her day. Asking for advice or a different perspective. I completely treasure this time.

At the end, she usually asks me how my day has been.

“Oh, you know. Working, and taking photos of pretty things that catch my eye.”

It never seems as exciting as her day. Then again she is surrounded by hundreds of children, mainly teenagers, and I see only a handful of people each day.

(Although the sparrows are pretty chatty…….)

water droplets on a bleeding heart leafThis is where the trust comes into it. Putting so many people together and adding social media, can be good, but not always. We live in a rural area. Most of her friends don’t live in easy walking distance from each other. If she wants to meet up, it means one of us driving her. Social media cuts this down. They can chat with each other as if they are in the same room.

The downside is that school never ends. Uncomfortable situations or arguments go on beyond school. Bad feelings can be fed as the teenagers continue to hop between the different platforms.

weed seed headEldest is learning and refining new skills. When to get involved and when not to. Being diplomatic. Empathy. Trust. What to post, as it stays out there forever. To be honest, I think she is doing incredibly well. I trust her.

There has been another issue this week, more serious, where I think she handled herself perfectly, and my trust in her grew that little bit more. It reminded me how trust takes time to build and how easy it can be lost. A matter of seconds.

wood stump in wood shedThis week, Middle Daughter entered the world of social media. She is lucky that her older sister is there to help. She also has the advantage that she has listened to the conversations we’ve had with Eldest about this journey. We’ve talked to her too, but it is a learning curve for all of us. To be honest, I feel a tad nervous, which is as it should be.

People may argue that the best way to avoid the problem is to not allow them access till they are older, but I disagree. After all if we kept them away from every difficult situation how would they learn. Take the case of crossing the road. She learnt to safely cross the road by holding my hand. I’m not sure she would take kindly to the same approach as a a teenager, if I’d left it that late to teach her. The same is true of social media.

rain drops on copper beech leavesI think social media can be amazing. It will be part of their world and I want them to learn to use it properly. They will be using it in ways that we probably can’t even imagine at the moment.

Trust has to be gained and we are on that journey now with Middle Daughter. It is a journey. Baby steps are required.snail escapingThere are times when I wish I could just swing them up onto my hip, as I used to when they were toddlers, and remove them from a difficult situation. I miss those days, but at the same time I’m glad that I am part of their current journeys. More than glad.

There goes Mr Sliffslaff-Slibberslak* the snail off on his own journey. I did pick him up and put him in a nature area, away from my salad beds. I’ve tried talking to them, but it never works. I’ll stick to children.

So here I am, continuing to learn to trust.

Part of my “Here I am” series. Considering setting this up as a linky on a Wednesday. (More info here) What do you think?

* Reference to Sibylle von Olfers “The Story of the Root Children”. A beautiful book.

22 thoughts on “Here I am: Trust

  • Thursday 19 May, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Social media can be such a minefield and I’m glad that I don’t yet have to think too much about it with regards to the girls. That said, I’m with you in that it is something they will need to learn to navigate at some point and teaching them while they’re still willing to have you do so is important. Love the photos that go with the post too.

    • Thursday 19 May, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Your girls are a bit on the young side to worry about social media yet, but it does creep up. Already my 8 year old is feeling left out as others in his class have accounts, and have done for some while.

  • Thursday 19 May, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    That’s exactly what son’s school teaches about soc med – like crossing the road safely. We have so many talks about what’s ok and sometimes it’s hard to bring it home to them without describing the very thing we are protecting them from. We’ve had a no photos policy for years and son even when 7 never even wanted his picture let alone name in my blog posts – and knowing what dreadful things go on, we all felt the same way. Now he’s older, he quite likes the idea of being included and even working with me to edit posts!!
    Completely love your photos with drops of water on leaves that make me want to drink it up! Can even tolerate looking at Mr Snail who looks alot happier than he would be in our garden. Jo

    • Thursday 19 May, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      It’s good to know that I’m taking the same line as they would hear at school. I think your approach of discussing the issue with your son is the best. A little at a time, over the years. The photo policy is a tough one. So many times I’ve wanted to share a gorgeous photo of one of my children, but end of choosing the photo with a side view, or more usually a missing head. I never use their names. Never have, although I love each syllable in them. Maybe one day that will change, but not before they are adults and can choose.

      I’m rather fond of Mr Snail. I do relocate them quite often, but when all said and done, I prefer snails to slugs. Yeow!

  • Thursday 19 May, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    I haven’t quite got to this stage yet although I know it won’t be long with eldest. I have no idea if things will be different for us as we are home educating and they get to spend a lot more time just being with their friends than they would in school so that whole conversation thing takes on a whole different level. But like so many aspects of parenting, trust is vital. Good food for thought and thank you for sharing.

    • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      I suspect the pressure to join social media will be different. I hadn’t thought about it from a home ed point of view. I also imagine that it will depend on the person. Some will want to carry on talking, others maybe not. You’ve given me food for thought too. 🙂

  • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 7:53 am

    It’s lovely to read that your eldest chats to you for so long every day. Good luck on the social media journey second time around! My eldest has FB and IG and my 12yo has IG. I will let him have FB when he’s 13. He’s also asked for Snapchat, but I don’t know enough about it, so I’ve said no for now. It certainly can be a minefield!

    • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      We’re just venturing into Snapchat for the first time with eldest. I’m not convinced that it gives her anything different, but another platform. We’ll see. It is a minefield. Makes you wonder what will come along to challenge them when they become parents.

  • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    There is so much in this post and I’m nodding along as I read it. I think your sentiment about holding their hand to cross the road at a young age and not when they are teenagers, is very apt with regard to social media. It’s difficult terrain but we need to help them navigate it. I love that your eldest daughter chats with you for an hour about her day. No wonder you treasure it!

    • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      She certainly likes to talk after school. Always has done.

      Guiding them all through the social media journey seems no less important than any of the other parenting jobs. School is pretty good about talking about it, but it needs us parents too to take a role. I’m glad I’m not alone in taking it seriously.

  • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    It sounds as though you have a brilliant relationship with your daughters, and I can only aspire to something similar when my girl is older. I think trust is key and your attitude to social media is just as mine is and will be when my kids are old enough to enter into it. Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      I’m sure your relationship with your daughter will grow even stronger as she gets older. They are such fascinating characters to watch as they grow into bigger people. I genuinely love being with my children. I’ve always tried to make time to talk to them each day and they seem comfortable to talk to me about absolutely anything. Believe me. Absolutely anything! Trust is something we’ve talked about since they could understand the concept. They know when they have lost my trust and when they need to win it back. Thank you for hosting.

  • Friday 20 May, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Loving the photos that you’ve taken. It’s true you can’t hold their hands forever. #WotW

    • Saturday 21 May, 2016 at 7:02 am

      Thank you. Yes. Over time it changes, but hopefully they’ll trust my help for a bit longer.

  • Saturday 21 May, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Can we just skip the bit where they have to learn to cope with other people and jump straight to the part where they know what they’re doing? Can they magically learn everything the easy way, not the hard way? This post terrifies me.

    • Monday 23 May, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Ha! It’s always dangerous to the nerves when you look too many years ahead, especially where children are concerned. Good job each stage creeps up.

  • Sunday 22 May, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Looks like its a week of social media. It can be a tricky platform for kids and teenagers but I agree that you have to let them experience it for them to learn! Your middle child is lucky indeed to have a guide. Hope their journey to social media is troll free!=)


    oh ps. Lovely photos!

    • Monday 23 May, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      Let’s hope. It would be nice to think. Most important that they feel that they can tell me anything.

  • Monday 23 May, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Social media is such a tricky journey and one which I am not looking forward to with my children. Trust I think is definitely a big part. Good luck.

    • Monday 23 May, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      I’m sure it will be easier than you imagine.

  • Tuesday 24 May, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Hi Cheryl, trust is a big thing especially with older children and teenagers. We have to do our best teaching them the rights from the wrongs and give them our trust freely, until they prove us otherwise. Our living situation sounds similar to yours, when my daughter wants to go anywhere we have to take her and pick her up (luckily her best friend lives nearby, so we do share giving lifts).

    The culture here is different than the UK in that the youngsters hang around coffee shops in the evening, so it’s not unusual for my daughter to come home at twelve (she’s 16 and it’s not a school night occurence), but we trust her and she’s quite open about where they were and what they were doing… One plus of smartphones are the cameras and youngsters love taking photos!

    It’s good that you are giving your girls the trust they need to grow, I think withholding trust can be more damaging in the long run and will put a spanner in the works of any parent teenage relationship.

    Lovely photos.


    • Wednesday 25 May, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      That must be quite different being out so late. Love the idea that she shares her photos with you, of her evening.

      I think trust is crucial. We all need to know its not a right. It cannot be seen as unconditional. That there are consequences, if you abuse someone’s trust. As a parent, there is a fine line between trusting and losing some trust. I agree that removing all trust could undermine the parent/child relationship, but I don’t think we do them any favours if they believe they can do anything and we will carry on trusting them regardless. I’ve seen the result of such an approach and it is not pretty.

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