WHO SAID PARENTING WOULD BE EASY?
No one said parenting was going to be easy, but I also feel like no one warned us for what was actually coming. There was no mention of what you would really have to do as parents to teach your child respect as they grow. From the second your child is born, there’s so much pressure to do everything right.
I remember walking out of the hospital with my new little man in his car seat, and feeling like I was taking someone’s baby. Thinking to myself, “are these people really going to let me take this baby home? I have no idea what to do, are you sure I should be doing this?” One second it was just me, and the next I was fully responsible for this tiny little human. It’s here the pressure set in. Through this pressure things can become unclear and foggy. Through this haze of uncertainty, you try to do your best as your raise your kids, but sometimes it can feel like it’s going all wrong.
PARENTING DOESN’T NEED PERFECTION
If you find you’re battling with your kids everyday, you might be losing site of the big picture. Which isn’t to do everything right or to be the perfect parent, but rather, to do your best to raise kind, respectful human beings. The big picture of parenting is to teach your child respect along the way. It’s your job as parents to guide your child as they grow and help them develop into respectful, kind and independent, contributing citizens of society. So remind yourself, when you’re feeling down, no one said anything about needing to be perfect? You don’t need perfection in order to teach your child how to be respectful, but you do need to be kind and respectful to them.
PARENTING CAN BE TOUGH WITHOUT RESPECT
Traveling your parenting journey will be one of the toughest roads you’ll ever travel. This can get a whole lot tougher through back-talking, door slamming and yelling. It’s during these moments you may feel like you’re not doing things right. Maybe you’re feeling down on yourself or like you’re failing at this whole parenting thing? I want you to know, you’re not. Kids love you unconditionally. These negative behaviors are your child’s way of trying to get mutual respect. Back talking, tantrums and refusing to listen are the only way your kids know how to get the attention they need. It’s your job to teach your child respect to help them stop pushing boundaries and limits. Make your life easier as parents by following 4 ways to teach your child respect.
4 ways to teach your child respect
Create a democratic relationship – not punishment
Kids want, need and deserve to be treated just as you desire to be treated. I believe whole heartedly that kids are equal to adults, they just happen to be smaller. When you, the parents, can work to create a democratic relationship with your kids, you will begin to see your child acting with more respect.
What do I mean by a democratic relationship?
In this type democratic relationship, parents and children have mutual respect for one another. You are not overpowering your kids and they’re not overpowering you. Rather, you respect each other’s, needs, wants and desires through fair, firm and clear boundaries.
If you’re trying to parent your kids in a manner in which, “whatever you say goes because you’re the boss.” You are going to receive disrespectful behavior back in return. With this approach your child feels inferior and lesser. Your child feels the need to fight for power and control.
Instead treat your kids exactly how you would want to be treated to avoid power struggles. Discover your parenting approach here!!
Practice what you preach – Role Model
In heated moments and times where you’re losing your patience, it can be really tough to practice what you preach. But it’s in these moments where you can truly begin to teach your child respect. In those times when you’re so mad and your lid flips, you might find yourself screaming and yelling at your kids. Or maybe you actually got so mad you lashed out and spanked or hit your child. It’s these moments where you’re teaching the most. It’s right here where your kids are watching, listening and learning how they should react when they are upset. Role modeling for your kids how to respond to situations is key when trying to teach your child respect.
HOW DO I STOP YELLING?
QUICK TIP: Next time you’re about to lose your sh*t, try walking away, taking 5 deep breaths and counting to ten before you say or do anything.
Next time you’re feeling like losing your cool or yelling at your kids, I want you to simply walk away. Don’t say anything. Walk away, take a few deep breaths and count to ten. Walking away is a great way to role model to your child self-control and respect. Teach your child how to manage big emotions by managing your own emotions in a respectful manner. Each time you feel like your lid is about to blow, you need to simply walk away. In these moments your “fight or flight” brain is in full gear and in order to respond respectfully and avoid reacting disrespectfully, you must breath to close your lid. Once you close the lid and calm your brain you will be able to respond in a productive and respectful manner.
Support in moments of hardship and failure
When your child is happy, sad or mad they need you! They are always looking to you to guide, teach and support them, especially in those tough moments of hardship and failure. Think about a time when you were frustrated or couldn’t do something right. The last thing you want is for someone to tell you it’s okay. Rather, having someone listen and support feels so much better. When your kids are upset or feeling down, don’t try to solve everything and make it better. Instead, simply listen, guide and support.
A parent’s your love is unconditional for your kids. Don’t put conditions on your love by treating your child in a disrespectful way. Don’t yell at your kids or punish them. Instead, discipline your child in a positive and supportive way to help them learn valuable life lessons. There’s a difference between punishment and discipline. When you punish your kids you make them feel blame, shame or pain. This is not respectful. When you discipline your kids you guide, teach, and support. Discipline is teaching respect.
DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK
Let’s look at a classic example of spilled milk.
Your child has just spilled milk all over the kitchen table you can choose to teach positive life lessons or create anger and shame.
Punishment Parent (Authoritarian): “I can’t believe you spilled again (sigh, eye roll). You are always making a mess, go to your room.”
Here your child feels badly about their accident or mistake. This makes your child feel less then you and it’s not a respectful way to deal with the spilled milk.
Positive Discipline Parent: “I see you spilled your milk. That’s okay, accidents happen. Would you like to tidy it up alone or would you like my help?”
Here you support your child through the lesson learned, as well as letting them know that mistakes and failures are okay. They also learn that when they spill the solution is to clean it up. This is the real life lesson you want to teach when your child spills milk.
Remember this along your parenting journey,
“Parenting is not intuitive. It’s a learned skill.”
Don’t be hard on yourself. You are learning as you go and will make mistakes. That’s okay! This is your way to practice unconditional love and respect. This is your way to role model to your kids that mistakes are a gift and way to learn. Teach, guide and support your child as you develop a mutual respect relationship to avoid power struggles!
PS I want you to make parenting easier and enjoyable. To learn more how to solve all your parenting challenges with positive tools BOOK your free 30-minute call!