Many parents worry about whether their children respect them, but do not think about whether they are showing respect to their children. To gain respect from children, we must also show children respect. Kids naturally learn from and copy the behavior of their parents. If parents show their children respect, children will naturally develop the skills to respect others. When a child experiences respect, they begin to understand the importance of it. Make sure that you are modeling respectful behavior.
Respect can be shown in a number of ways. For example, you can show respect when dealing with your children’s mistakes. Respect is shown in how you talk to your child in a loving and caring way, along with listening to your child’s thoughts.
Ways to show respect to children:
- Speak to your child in a mature way. This means using logic and being honest with them. Try not to use, “Because I said so.” Instead, you can give your child reasons why you are making a certain decision or why you are saying no to their request.
- Focus on the positive side of life. Your children deserve to have a positive role model who “lifts them up.” Be positive. Instead of getting angry at them because they came home dirty after playing with their friends, you can say, “Looks like you had a good time!”
- Compliment your children and observe them. Tell them what they do well and celebrate it. Concentrating on the positives about your child will increase their self-confidence.
- Keep your promises. Show your child that you mean what you say.
- Always be honest with your children. If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize for it. This will show kids them that even their parents make mistakes and are able to admit to these mistakes.
- Always look at your child in the eyes when talking with them. This shows that you care about what they are saying and are fully engaged in the conversation.
- Don’t be in a hurry to answer your child’s questions. Turn the question back on them. Try: “That’s a good question! What do you think?”
- Choose your words carefully. Phrases like, ‘You’ll understand when you’re older’ or “I didn’t ask your opinion!’ are condescending. Children have their own independent way of thinking which might be disconnected to what parents think, but children still have a right to their beliefs
- Enable your child to be independent. Give them responsibilities as soon as they can handle them.
- Show your child that she has value. Your child should know that they have value as a human being. Encourage your child to take care for themselves properly, make sure they get enough rest, etc.