From birth, children begin learning whether
they can trust adults to give them the care they
need to feel safe and secure and to develop.
Jennifer Allford explains
Trust is earned. It’s also learned.
From the moment they’re born, children begin learning whether they can
trust the adults in their lives (mom, dad, grandparents and other caregivers) to
look after them.
Children depend on adults for food, shelter, clothing and comfort. Parents
and other caregivers build trust with children when they readily and
consistently meet children’s needs by giving them stable, nurturing care—this
makes children feel safe and secure and is fundamental to healthy childhood
When such care is missing from children’s lives, trust can be replaced with
stress: children are constantly on high alert because they don’t know what to
expect from their parents or caregivers.
Over time, such stress can turn toxic, hindering the building blocks of brain
architecture and healthy development. (See glossary on page 35.)