6The Elements of Trust Making

“This Could Be the Start of Something Big!”

Most of the advice we receive from others is not so much evidence of their affection for us, as it is evidence of their affection for themselves.

Josh Billings

“I’ll be back to get you when school is out,” a parent promises as her youngster exits the car with book bag in tow. So begins an all-important trust gap—the space between a promise made in the morning and the promise kept (or broken) in the afternoon. The level of anxiety the child experiences during the day depends on whether past experiences are more “Mom always comes” or “Sorry I’m late again; traffic was terrible.”

We all live our lives on promises. From the time a child can grasp the concept of “cross my heart ...

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