All parents can serve as good role models for their children. If you want to command or receive respect from your children, use calm, logical words and actions to encourage your children's cooperation. When your children respond to you in a spirit of cooperation, they demonstrate respect, not fearful compliance.
Your child's behavior is undoubtedly frustrating sometimes. Children do things that can provoke parents' impatience, such as making bad choices, struggling with learning certain things and repeating annoying phrases or sounds endlessly. However, acting out of exasperation or speaking gruffly will not help you gain your child's respect. Instead, exercise patience in all situations. No matter what, take a deep breath and gather your thoughts before responding to your child.
Parents who demonstrate respect to their children and others will receive respect in return. Use an even tone of voice and listen to your child's concern. When disciplining your child, use a firm, gentle voice instead of yelling. Take time to speak to your child privately instead of in front of his friends or other adults, especially in potentially embarrassing situations. The more you model respectful behavior for your child, the more likely your child will imitate the behavior.
Acting or speaking inconsistently can send mixed messages to your child. It's important to always set forth consistent and clear expectations for your child through your actions and words. If you are permissive one day and strict the next, your child will not learn to respect you. Instead, she will likely become confused and resentful.
Respect is a two-way street. If you want your child's respect, include him in the problem-solving process and give him the chance to state his opinions and choose from reasonable solutions. Resist the urge to command your child to act in a certain way. Instead, sit down with him and brainstorm ways to correct the problem. Treat your child's opinions as valid. This will help raise your child's self-esteem and help his respect for you grow.
Everyone makes mistakes. However, a parent who makes mistakes needs to admit them to gain a child's respect. For example, if you forget to pick up an item your child needs for school, simply admit you forgot and apologize to your child. Then, think of a way to solve the problem, such as going to get the item immediately or promising to pick it up the next day. Your child will see that you're sorry for forgetting and are willing to correct the situation, which can bolster her respect for you.
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