How Trust & Reassurance Create A Safe Space for Your Child to Thrive with Dr. Darryl Stickel

parenting podcast what's the lesson youth mental health Nov 03, 2023

Parenting is an intricate dance of love, guidance, and trust. In our latest podcast episode, we had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Darryl Stickel, an expert in trust-building and leadership. With a PhD in business from Duke University and a wealth of experience in fostering trust in challenging environments, Dr. Stickel shared invaluable insights for parents. This blog post delves into key takeaways from our conversation, offering practical advice for building a strong, trusting relationship with your children.

Building Trust: The Cornerstone of Parenting

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, and this is particularly true in the parent-child dynamic. Dr. Stickel emphasizes the importance of vulnerability in establishing trust. By showing our authentic selves to our children, we create a safe space for them to open up and share their true feelings. It’s about creating an environment where kids feel comfortable being themselves, knowing they are loved and accepted unconditionally.

However, building trust doesn’t mean relinquishing authority. Dr. Stickel discusses the delicate balance between being an authoritative figure and a supportive parent. It's about setting clear boundaries while also considering your child’s needs and perspectives. This approach not only fosters respect but also encourages children to develop self-confidence and independence.

Shifting Perspectives: A Relational Approach to Parenting  

One of the most profound insights from our discussion with Dr. Stickel is the significance of perspective shifts in parenting. Often, we get caught up in our viewpoint, forgetting to consider how our children perceive the world. Dr. Stickel urges parents to adopt a relational approach, which involves actively trying to understand things from our child’s perspective.

This shift in perspective can be transformative. It allows us to empathize with our children, understand their challenges, and guide them more effectively. It’s about moving away from a control-centric mindset to a relationship-focused one, where open communication and mutual understanding are prioritized.

The Impact on Self-Esteem and Leadership Development

Our conversation also touched on how parenting styles affect children’s self-esteem and leadership skills. Dr. Stickel shared personal anecdotes, including how he helped his son embrace his unique traits. He highlights that acknowledging and celebrating our children's individuality is crucial for their self-esteem.

Moreover, the way we interact with our children can significantly influence their development as future leaders. By fostering a trust-based relationship, we teach them essential skills like empathy, decision-making, and resilience. These skills are vital for leadership and will benefit them in all areas of life.

Building a Relationship of Trust 

Dr. Stickel provided practical tips for building a relationship based on trust, not just with our children but in all our relationships. It starts with consistent and honest communication, actively listening, and showing genuine interest in their lives. Trust is built over time through small yet significant actions that show our children they can count on us.

He also discussed the concept of "WTF to WTL moments" – transforming 'What The Failure' moments into 'What The Learning' opportunities. This mindset encourages us to view challenges as learning experiences, fostering a growth mindset in our children.


Our enlightening conversation with Dr. Darryl Stickel offers a roadmap for parents striving to build a trusting and empowering relationship with their children. The key lies in being authentic, empathetic, and supportive, all while maintaining the necessary boundaries. As we implement these insights into our daily parenting practices, we pave the way for our children to grow into confident, independent, and empathetic individuals. Remember, the journey of parenting is as much about our growth as it is about our children's.


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