How to respectfully inspire your child to show respect


We all want to be respected, don’t we, the difficulty lies in that when emotions flare, respect seems to pick up and walk straight out the door.


So as the parent what do you need to stop doing to start getting your child to act respectfully?


1.   Stop yelling at your child

You have undoubtedly heard this before, you know you should not yell, you want to talk to your children, but somehow they keep pushing your buttons and you react rather than respond the way you want to.


As a person, you have always been able to maintain your even-keeled temper at all times, but as a parent, you don’t recognise yourself. You know what you should be doing, but you do not know where to begin the process of putting a grinding halt on the yelling.


Every person has different triggers and stresses in their lives causing them to respond emotionally or scream. While it is easy for me to tell you “Stop, don’t yell,” experience teaches me that it is far more challenging to put this newly learnt habit in place. It requires your concerted and consistent


energy and effort. Your approach to managing and dealing with your triggers and how you react when someone is pushing your buttons, and the way you approach every event in your life, and how much other stress you are currently experiencing will determine how easy it is for you to stop yelling at you child. YOU NEED TO START DEALING WITH YOUR TRIGGERS AND PUTTING TACTICS IN PLACE TO ADDRESS ANY STRESSES THAT YOU CAN. I LIKE TO REFER TO IT, AS THE NEED TO CONTROL YOUR CONTROLLABLES. RESPONDING GENTLY, WITHOUT YELLING OR TAKING YOUR FRUSTRATIONS OUT ON THOSE AROUND YOU, CAN BE GRUELLING TO STOP BEING EMOTIONAL AND REACTIVE RATHER THAN.


2.   Stop not respecting your child

It is natural to expect others to respect you, you might even say that you demand that your child respects you, but unless you model those same behaviours, you are “dreaming” that your child will ever truly respect you. They may fear you; they may pretend to respect you, but there is a good chance that the minute you are out the room, so too is their respect. START SHOWING YOUR CHILD YOUR RESPECT SO THAT THEY ARE LEARNING THE BEST WAY FROM YOU


3.   Stop demanding respect

It is up to you to show respect, only then might you get it from others; of course, there is no guarantee that you will be respected. Have you ever noticed that it is genuinely easy for you to admire and respect the people that are respectful of you? START SHOWING YOUR CHILD THE RESPECT YOU WANT FROM THEM YOU RESPECT THEM IN YOUR ACTIONS AND INTERACTIONS WITH THEM.


4.   Stop forgetting that your child is a child

Your child is learning and developing his skills and abilities and as he does this by watching you, observing you and others every step of the way. It is essential that you remember that your child is still a child. I am sure you have witnessed many adults whose emotions get in the way of them being respectful. The woman who is yelling at the shop assistant, the wife yelling at her husband, the parent yelling at their child.


Your child’s brain is still developing which exacerbates their inability to think logically when they are emotional. The fight or flight impulse sets in, and there is little or no way, despite your child’s best intentions that they can be rational. Sometimes your child cannot stop them self from being disrespectful. Now I am not suggesting that you accept this disrespect, but I do recommend that you START TO BE AWARE OF THE PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL STAGE AND STATE OF YOUR CHILD, SO THAT YOU KNOW AND RECOGNISE THE CHALLENGES, AND EXPERIENCES THAT YOUR CHILD IS AND WILL HAVE BASED ON HIS AGE.


5.   Stop taking the high road

When it comes to expecting respect from your child, don’t take the high road, rather, accept that they will make mistakes and that you are the best teacher they have. START TEACHING THEM HOW TO SHOW RESPECT BY MODELLING THAT THE RIGHT WAY IS THE BEST WAY, HELP THEM BE RESPECTFUL, START MODELLING RESPECT TODAY


6.   STOP being a hard-headed parent

When it comes to parenting, you can dig your heels in or you can grow and develop along with your child. If you recognise that you are not doing so well, you have a choice, keep doing a lousy job, or set a plan in place to do better. START OFFERING YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILD THE OPPORTUNITY OF A DO-OVER. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE WAY THEY RESPONDED, OFFER THEM THE CHANCE TO DO IT BETTER – “Would you like to try that again”  INVITE THEM TO DO BETTER AND IF YOU GOT IT WRONG, APOLOGISE AND GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO DO IT BETTER TOO.

7.   START changing the way you communicate to show your respect

  • Don’t yell or call out to your child from another room – if you expect them to come to you when you want them to talk to you, you will need to do the same
  • Stop interrupting your child when they are speaking, allow them to finish their sentence or express their opinion completely irrespective of the topic. An excellent guide as to when to start taking is to wait until your child has said nothing for the count of three, find out more here.
  • Stop listening with the intention to talk and share your opinion, there is no way your child will be taking note of your advice if you do not listen to what they are telling you.
  • Start Giving your child 100% of your attention when you are communicating with them, because that is respectful and if you cannot give them all of your attention, let them know that you are available to talk to them later because right now is not an ideal time. Remembering that sometimes what you are doing needs to take a back seat and what they need to discuss with you might well be the priority. You do not want to lose an opportunity to connect.
  • Start being aware of the way that you interact with your child, are you offering them respect, are you dismissive of them? Once you know the answer, be sure to respond to them with the respect you want them to show you.

What will you start to do differently right now to respectfully inspire your child to show respect?

Mother and her 10-12yo daughter are looking their eyes. Side view. Isolated on white in studio.

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