The innocence of a child lives or dies by the parent’s word. Promises are the ultimate test of a child’s trust. Once a child’s trust in the parent is broken, there is no repairing it quite to the extent that it will ever be whole again.
Just as it is important in our business dealings to keep our word, so it is important in parenting. A child needs to know that their parent will follow through. The degree to which a parent values their child’s innocence is the measure of whether they will come through when it matters the most. A child will remember a broken promise for the rest of their lives.
A parent needs to know his or her own limits and keep their promises to within that scope or just beyond it. No sense in promising the moon to a child if you can hardly muster money for their school clothes and a backpack. This kind of responsibility teaches the child that there are limits in life but efficacy to be found within them. A good parent, however, does everything they can to help the child break into unknown territory and a higher economic existence.
A broken promise is a betrayal to the child. It is far better to practice humility in what you can offer to a child.