We sometimes neglect that children are not born with a built-in sense of respect for others. However, our children must be taught to learn respect. Think about it, infants are born having to exploit their environment to fulfill their needs, and they do this mostly by crying.
For infants, crying is normal and suitable; they convey that they are hungry or wet or need to be carried. But as children grow older, parents need to teach them sensitive ways to meet their needs. And weeping, manipulation, as well as disrespect are not polite ways to do this.
Sadly, even though they know better, many youngsters have not been taught respect or chose not to be respectful. Indeed, it is normal to see children and adolescents arguing with (or ignoring) adults, using foul words, acting with an attitude, and not using etiquette or respecting those in control. Regrettably, this has become the standard for many children and teenagers.
More significantly, however, many parents in their homes have not developed a firm culture of ethics. Part of the issue is that parents are always distracted, making it even harder to immediately respond to their children. Let’s face it; when you are wiped out and exhausted from working too hard, it is easier to let things slide.
Ultimately, I think many parents have trouble rationally looking at their children. I can’t emphasize how vital it is to look critically at your children, noticing both their strengths and their weak points. Being rational helps you see and fix unacceptable behaviour as it occurs and not make excuses or overlook it.
How can you reverse the trend in your home if it starts or is already a lifestyle? As a parent today, here are nine tips you should do that can help your kids to learn respect:
Remember that your kid isn’t your friend
It isn’t about liking your kid or even praising you for what you’re doing. It is worth noting that your kid isn’t your friend. He/She is your child! Your job is to teach him/her to work adequately in the world and to act respectfully to others, not just to you.
A basic rule of thumb when you feel your child may be crossing the line is to ask yourself, “Would I allow a neighbor to say such things to me? Or Will I permit a stranger?” if your answer is no, then do more permit your kid as well.
Your relationship will become more of a friendship sometime when your child becomes an adult. But you must be his dad, his instructor, his coach, and his boundary setter for now, not the friend who lets him get away with stuff.
Tackle early and often disrespect
It’s helpful to address inappropriate behavior early, if possible. Do not look the other way if your child is rude or disrespectful. Intervene yourself and say: “We don’t speak to one another that way in this family.”
Giving consequences when your children are younger is going to pay off somewhere in the long run. As a parent, if you notice your child being rude, it’s vital that you recognize it and then try to end it. Also, think of the future if your kid is about to reach puberty (or another potentially challenging phase).
Parent as a team
When it comes to your infant’s conduct, it is helpful for you and your co-parent to be on the same page. Ensure that one of you, when the other is trying to intercede, does not encourage disrespectful conduct. If your child violates the rules, sit down together, talk about your rules, and then develop an action plan and a list of repercussions you might offer.
Teaching your child skills for socialization
This may sound old-fashioned, but it is necessary to teach your kid simple ways to say “please” and “thank you.” It will go a long way when your children interact with their teachers or gets their first job and possess these skills to rely on.
Know that using manners just like a simple “excuse me” or “thank you” is also a means of empathy. It teaches your children to respect others and to recognize their impact on other individuals. When you think about it, disrespectful behavior is the opposite of being empathetic and possessing good manners.
Be polite and courteous when correcting your child
Correct them politely when your child doesn’t respect or is being rude to others. It’s not helpful to shout, get upset, and have your attitude in response to theirs. Getting angry only intensifies their disrespectful conduct. The truth is, it’s hard to be an efficient teacher if you allow their rude behaviour to affect you.
You may instead take your child aside and send them a simple message about what is acceptable. You don’t have to yell or embarrass them. Use these events as educational experiences by calmly taking your children aside, keeping your standards strong and straightforward, and following through with good results.
Setting reasonable expectations for your child’s actions
Being rational about your child’s behavioural patterns can mean that you need to lower your standards. For instance, don’t plan a big road trip with your kids if they don’t like riding in a car. If your kid has problems in large groups and planning an event for 30 people, you’re likely to set everyone up for frustration and possibly an argument.
Setting limits beforehand is also beneficial. For instance, if you’re preparing to go out for dinner, make your intentions known to your children. Clear expectations will help the child act and, in certain ways, will make them feel better.
They will know what is required of them, and if they don’t meet those standards, they will know the repercussions. Give them some credit if they meet your expectations, but follow through on whatever consequences you have set for them if they don’t.
Make the boundaries clear when things are calm
When you’re in a situation where your kid is disrespectful, it isn’t the best time to speak a lot about boundaries or repercussions. It would be helpful if you spoke with your child about his or her actions and your expectations at a later time.
Discuss disrespect when your child is relaxed
If your kid doesn’t respect or is rude to others, discuss the situation once things are calm. Speak about how differently it should have been done. A calm discussion is an opportunity for you to listen to your child and genuinely comprehend his or her problem. It is also a great time to explain to your child what he/she should have done better.
Don’t take the conduct of your child personally
One of the greatest mistakes parents can make is taking the actions of their child personally. The truth is, you shouldn’t fall into that trap because the teenager next door does the same thing to his parents. And your cousin’s daughter is doing her parents the same thing. All children have disputes with their parents. Your job is to deal as critically as possible with the actions of your child.
They can feel out of control and get frightened if parents don’t have effective ways of dealing with these kinds of problems. As a result, they frequently overreact to the situation or underreact. They become too rigid when they overreact.
And when they underreact, they disregard the behaviour or convince themselves it’s “just a phase.” Notwithstanding, it won’t help your child learn to control their feelings or emotions more effectively. And he/she is not going to be taught to respect others.
Understand that you can begin at any moment if you haven’t been able to intervene with your children early on. Even if your child displays disrespectful actions regularly, you can start to step in and set some strict limits.
Even if they complain, kids want restrictions. And they’ll protest! The message they get when you step in and set boundaries is that they are cared for, valued and that you want them to be successful in the world and work well. Your children won’t thank you now, but that’s all right. It is not about getting them to appreciate us; it’s about doing the responsible thing.
See also – Respecting People’s Opinions
Do Your Kids Respect You? – empoweringparents