When your kids don’t listen to you, it makes everything more difficult. Even getting them to do the simplest task can wear you down and make you want to scream. Raising respectful children that will listen to you and do it willingly is not an easy task. However, it can be done. Raising respectful children in a disrespectful world takes a lot of patience, hard work, and fortitude, but the rewards that can be reaped from your efforts are far worth the sacrifice. You will end up with polite children who respect you enough to follow your rules and will do so without putting up a fight.
It is important to remember that children are not born with the knowledge that they are supposed to respect you. They are also not born with the knowhow to disrespect you. Whatever they learn, they will learn from you in a variety of ways. When learning how to raise respectful children, you have to really take a look at yourself. Do you give them respect? Do you treat other people in your life with respect? Are you positive and consistent with your discipline? Are you involved in every aspect of your kids’ lives? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you hold the key to raising respectful children. Here’s a further exploration as to why these four questions hold the answer to how to raise respectful children.
Do you give them respect?
First and foremost, you need to be giving your children respect in order to expect it in return. Yes, you are the parent, and you don’t need to do what your children tell you to, obviously. However, you do need to respect that they have their own thoughts and feelings. You should invest the time to get to know what these thoughts and feelings are in every situation. For example, if your child insists that they do not want to do something that you ask them, consider asking them why. This doesn’t mean he won’t have to listen to you, but at least he will feel validated and know that you care about his thoughts.
Do you treat other people in your life with respect?
Another huge aspect of raising respectful children is making sure that you are setting a good example in the way that you interact with others when your children are watching. Of course, you should be treating others in the same manner whether or not your children are there, but it is especially important when your kids are present. They will follow your lead, whether you like it or not. It is often said that children are the best imitators. It is not enough to tell them they need to be respectful towards you; you need to show them exactly what respecting others looks like. You can be assured that if you treat everyone in your life with the respect that you would like your children to give you, they will follow your lead.
Are you positive and consistent with your discipline?
Nothing will make your kids disrespect you faster than going back on your word. If you threaten a punishment, you better follow through. This part of parenting is arguably the hardest. It is easy to spew out punishments in the heat of trying to get your kids to do something. But if you don’t actually give the punishment if they don’t listen, your kids will learn very quickly that they don’t really have to do what you tell them. They have nothing to lose, why would they? Always think before you talk, and never dangle a punishment in front of your children unless you are actually willing to stick to what you said. For example, if you are out at an amusement park for the day and your boy is acting up and not listening to you, it is really easy to say, “If you don’t listen to me we will leave right now.” But are you willing to actually pack up and sacrifice the day for the rest of your family if your boy does not listen?
The second part of this step is to focus on the things your kids do right. When your kids do listen to you right away, praise them and let them know that you noticed. Positive reinforcement is so much more effective than only commenting on the bad things your children do. Your kids will love getting the positive attention so much that they will look for ways to earn it from you. Children also thrive on positive physical attention; so don’t be afraid to give away those hugs and kisses with abundance.
Are you involved in every aspect of your kids’ lives?
Your kids need to know that you are there for them, no matter what. When they know they can rely on you for affection, advice, praise, and clear boundaries, they will be more apt to respect you. Do you know what your kids are doing when they are alone in their rooms? Do you know what they do when they go out with friends on weekends? Be involved. Be very involved. You will never regret spending too much time with your kids. Remember, even though you want to be their friend when they grow up and move out, when it comes to raising respectful children, it is crucial that you always put your role as a parent first.