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Can I Trust Ya?

First of all, in order for the message of this post to really hit home, I need to share a bit about the person behind this great idea.  Meet George Lynch…aka my Dad.

Not to be cliche, but there are truly no words to describe my dad. He is quite honestly the most generous, quick-witted, wise, hysterical, and kind-hearted person one will ever meet. I know it must not have been easy growing up in a houseful of women {especially us Lynch women!}

He’s supplied my classroom with countless ice cream parties, sat around and waited for my cable/internet/mattress delivery man to show up, and even drove my sister and me to the Ellen show so that we wouldn’t be tired after all of the excitement! And all he wants in return is for us to be happy. He’s like a real life Giving Tree. He’s the best!

Until you mess with him.

You DO NOT want to be on the bad side of George Lynch. Looking back, I know he was a very fair disciplinarian. You did something wrong…you got punished. As a teacher now, I totally get it. However, when the man was taking minutes off of my next curfew just because I showed up a few minutes later than I should have, I thought he was a jerk!

Trust has always been a very important value my parents instilled in my sister and me. Do something to shake that trust, and a little is gone. Do something else, and a little more goes away. Keep it up and all the trust they have in you would eventually be gone.

Growing up, I can vividly remember my Dad having “The Trust Talk” with me. Not once, not twice. No less than 50 times. My friends heard it. My boyfriends heard it. My college roommates heard it. I’m pretty sure even the paper boy heard it.

The basic idea is that everyone is given his full trust. Do something to mess with that and a little bit of that trust is taken away. Each time you tell a little white lie, act deceitfully, or even embellish on a story, a little of that trust is lost.

To demonstrate his point, my Dad would use anything within his reach – a napkin, a piece of paper {and my personal favorite} a tortilla chip.  He would give examples of how we would lose his trust – show up late for curfew {gulp!} lie to him about anything, take something without asking, etc.

He showed us that even if we try to make the situation right, often there is no way to gain back that little bit of trust you lost.  As you begin to lose more and more trust, the pieces get bigger.  You can try to put those pieces back together, but as the paper shows, sometimes the pieces just won’t fit just right.

You better believe I rarely missed curfew, hid a progress report or even took a cookie from the cookie jar!

So, when I finally got my own classroom, I knew I had to introduce “The Trust Talk” to my kids.

I don’t really have a set time for when The Trust Talk comes up.  It is usually spurred by some sneaky kid thinking they’re going to get away with something – cheating on a spelling test, ripping one of my books on purpose, lying to me or a friend, etc.

Then, I know it’s time to pull out the paper.

In my most serious {and George Lynch-like tone} I tell the kids all about trust.  We discuss how it’s one of the most important qualities you can give to someone.

Then, we have a long discussion about how you can lose someone’s trust and what that means.

By the end of the chat, the kids are on the verge of wetting their pants, but I know they’ve heard me loud and clear.

A few years ago, The Talk came up when I had seen a child cheat on her spelling test.  I went through the whole Trust Talk with the class about their integrity and what cheating actually is.  Well, by the end of the chat, another childwalked up to me and admitted he had was the one who had cheated on his spelling test! Score. Bonus!

This year, I followed up The Trust Talk with a little writing exercise.  Nothin’ like hammering home the point.

All joking aside, I can honestly say this is one of the most lasting lessons I teach my kids.  Throughout the year, I’ll hear kids say {to me and others}, “I don’t want to lose your trust. I’m telling you the truth.” Melts my heart.

I hope you’re inspired to have The Trust Talk!

Click {here} to snag this freebie.

Thanks Dad for {yet another} life lesson!

14 Responses

  1. Awww what an AWESOME dad! He reminds me of my dad! All about morals and ethics which I SO appreciate! :o) Thanks for the great idea on how to incorporate this into the classroom!

  2. Awesome lesson! I wish I had read this when I needed to do the "Trust Talk" in my classroom! Some students took advantage of a substitute and went to my desk and took back the rubber band bracelets I had confiscated from them a while ago. We had a serious talk about trust after this and I know the lesson stuck with the culprits. Would've loved to do all the other follow-up activities you have though. Definitely pinning this for future reference! Thanks! 🙂

    Diary of a Second Grade Teacher

  3. Hey Molly, thanks so much for this amazing tip. I’ve been glued to your page since I logged on. Keep up the good work.

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