In my last article – Why Your Kids Disrespect You, we looked at some of the reasons why disrespect occurs between a parent and a child. Now let’s look at how you can turn it all around.
Your children will not respect you until you demand that they respect you.
By that, I don’t mean ranting and raving about how they don’t respect you and how they don’t care about what you do for them. I mean when you teach them a standard of treatment that you expect from them and issue serious consequences for them if this expectation is not met.
Human beings operate with the agenda of pursue pleasure and avoid pain. If you set the standard and issue consequences for behaving less than the standard, and those consequences are painful (meaning they don’t like them or it means they have to lose something they want or experience something they don’t like), then they will learn not to behave that way.
This doesn’t just work for respect, this works for anything you are trying to teach your children (FYI, it doesn’t always have to be punishment either, you can motivate using the pursuit of pleasure – i.e., rewards for co-operation or good behaviour).
Just remember what you’re doing it for. What is it that you’re actually trying to teach? What is the life lesson or life skill you are trying to teach? Make sure it’s for those reasons, as opposed to just obeying so you get what you want…as tempting as that is, lol.
One final point….
Is it really disrespect? Is it really about you at all?
Keep in mind that often, our child’s behaviour has nothing to do with you at all. We can be so quick to make our child’s behaviour personal and jump onto the “My children don’t respect me train” but often it’s not because they don’t respect you at all, it’s because they’re learning how to deal with their frustrations, they are learning a new skill or using you as a venting board because they don’t know what else to do.
It’s important to take your self-worth away from your child’s behaviour and start to look at what’s going on in the child’s mind behind the behaviour.
When you do this, you might just see that they need your help to deal with a situation differently. You can still address the fact that they are treating you rudely or inappropriately, but make sure you give them some tools to help them deal with the actual problem differently too.
If you don’t know how to help them, then maybe you can sit down together and work it out.
Dealing with the problem by finding solutions….
If you would like more information on how to communicate more effectively with your child, change the way your family interacts with each other, or how to lower the stress levels in the home, our Stress Free Parenting program can teach you all that and more.