Simple Ways To Respect Your Child & Gain Respect In Return
I would often lose my cool on kids especially when they would misbehave or act naughty. The tired mom in me would conveniently scold/scream in order to discipline them. My pitch would be high and tone, harsh. I didn’t realise its impact till one day my kids started talking to me in the exact same way, exact same tone. Even worse they started saying – ‘Mumma, stop screaming’. Mumma, talk nicely’. ‘Mumma, why do you always keep scolding’…. Its then I realised we may be able to discipline our kids by scolding, but we are missing making them learn an important value of life – respect.
The way we treat our children directly impacts how they treat others around them. We all want our kids to be kind, polite and respectful to everyone they interact with. The question that arises is, “How can we teach them to be respectful?” Simply, by modeling the respect we hope to see from them.
Children learn by observation, especially observing their parents. So a simple way of teaching them respect is by giving them respect. Show them and they will imitate.
Here are few ways to respect your child and gain respect in return-
1 Use magic words while talking to them
Just how we teach our kids how to use the magic words in their conversations – Sorry, Thank You, Please, Excuse Me, let’s use the same in our daily conversations with them. Instead of saying, ‘Switch off the TV now’, try saying- ‘Can we please switch off the TV in the next 2 mins’. Donot hesitate to apologise to them, especially for a mistake. When we talk politely, not only kids learn the same but they also tend to listen more.
2 Respect their choices/decisions
When we coerce children into doing something they don’t want to do or don’t feel comfortable doing, we miss an important opportunity to show respect. Our goal is to raise self- motivated, capable, respectful and resilient humans, not ones who are easily coerced by the pressure of others. Eg- donot force the child to eat if he says he is full. When our children know we respect their decisions and trust, they will follow through and re- create a mutual respect for one another.
3 Respect their body/physical appearance
By letting kids own their bodies and physical appearance, we show them the same level of respect we hope they will show others. For instance- instead wiping food from your child’s face, you can just bring it to your child’s notice and offer a napkin to wipe it off
4 Involve them in decision-making
Give kids a voice in decision making. Let them participate in decisions that affect their own lives. Show kids that you see them as people who have feelings and their own point of view. That ways they learn to express and when they see us respecting their opinions, they learn to listen and respect our point of view too.
5 Stay calm when child misbehaves.
Our instant reaction is always to scold kids and make them apologise.(Super guilty, here!) But does it always help? No. I have been a yeller for the longest time only to realise it doesn’t work at all. Try to stay calm in the situation, be mindful, think through why the child is behaving the way he is, and then respond (not react). Be gentle in your ways. Let the moment pass. Once he is calm, then take the opportunity to explain the child what he did was wrong.
6 Praise Respectful Behavior
Appreciation and positive reinforcement works wonders. So when the child demonstrates good behaviour and talks respectfully, dont forget to appreciate and praise their positive choices. That will motivate the child to behave in the same manner in future
7 Respect those around them
As a parent, our words and behaviour impact our kids at multiple levels. The way we talk, not just with them but with those around them matters. We may talk politely with our kids, but would it help if we aren’t the same polite with others – say our partner or the domestic helper or the delivery agent. We need to maintain consistency and make ‘talking politely’ a habit that we follow for all (not just kids).
8 Respect your child’s space
A lot of times, kids don’t feel like answering all our questions – how was your day, what did you do at school, etc. Don’t force your child to respond or answer at the spur of the moment. Respect his need of space. Let him know that he can answer when he is comfortable and in mood. By showing such respect and patience, you are encouraging them to practice the same while talking to others.
9 Be on the same page with your partner
Parents are a team. It’s beneficial for you and your co- parent to be on the same page when it comes to your child’s behaviour. Make sure one of you isn’t allowing the disrespectful behaviour while the other is trying to intercede. Sit down together and talk about your rules and then come up with a plan of action and a list of consequences you might give if your child is disrespectful.
We often forget that kids aren’t born with a built- in sense of respect for others. Our children need to be taught to be respectful and they learn that from watching us. When we demonstrate basic respect towards them, they replicate the same. Try these simple ways to respect your child and see the difference.
This post is part of the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge run by Blogchatter
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