Do you get enough respect as a parent?
Do you ever feel embarrassed or angered by your child’s disrespectful behavior?
Some of the most frustrated parents I’ve ever worked with are those who feel they aren’t getting the respect that they deserve. Being disrespected can make any parent feel completely out of control.
You know that increasing trust and respect in your family will help your children grow up to be confident and capable adults. But where do you begin after you feel like you’ve tried everything?
Although building respect can take time, practicing these strategies will bring more respect into your home right away – and if you stick with it, your child will soon follow suit.
If you’re feeling burnt out trying to gain respect from your family, challenge yourself to use these simple yet profound strategies.
Your Five Strategies for Gaining Respect
1. Power down the power struggle.
When you start getting frustrated, pause and “turn down the heat” inside before addressing the situation. Losing your cool and engaging in a squabble is the quickest way to lose respect.
Let go of trying to control your child’s behavior, and instead focus on being consistent with natural consequences for any inappropriate behavior. The only person you can control is yourself. We can’t remind ourselves of that enough.
Bonus challenge: Ask another parent how they are able to stay out of the power struggle with their child, and practice their method for at least one week.
2. Praise makes perfect… (or at least, good enough).
In addition to giving consistent, reasonable consequences for behavior, focus on praising behavior that is desirable if you want to foster respect.
Some parents who are concerned about teaching their child respect will get in the habit of pointing out any negative behavior. This approach provides no guidance or tools to your child.
You can’t praise your child too much, as long as it’s genuine and honest! Before you know it, your child will be naming successes for himself and be proud of moments that he shows respect to others.
Bonus challenge: Praise at least three things about your child every day. You might try giving yourself a time frame, such as once before 10am, once before 5pm, and once before bed time.
3. Make honesty your policy.
You already know that your child learns to respect you when they feel respected by you. One of the top ways to show someone respect is to be honest with them.
Don’t lie to your kids, and don’t lie to others. For instance, kids notice when you make up a story to get out of doing something that you don’t want to do. Practice being upfront and open with people in a kind and direct way. You’ll be showing your child that you can be trusted and that you can admit when you’ve made a mistake.
Bonus challenge: When your child admits a mistake to you, or is honest with you about a problem, use it as an opportunity to build respect between you. Say something like: “I may not like what you did, but you really earned my respect by telling me the truth.”
4. Crack the code.
There may be something that your child is trying to express with his or her disrespectful behavior. Is she feeling ignored? Criticized? Angry? Are there too few boundaries in his life, leaving him feeling stuck in chaos?
Take a step back and determine what may be going on internally for your child. Kids don’t always have the words to express their feelings, and so they express through behavior.
Bonus challenge: Separate your child’s feeling from your child’s action. You might say something like “It is ok to feel upset, but it’s not ok to yell.” Then be available to listen to whatever the feeling is once the behavior stops, to reinforce the message that your child’s feelings matter.
5. Be a super model.
In all ways and all moments possible, model respectful behavior.
Say “please” and “thank you” to others, and only speak kindly about others when they aren’t around.
Don’t grab or hit your child if you don’t want them to grab or hit others.
Respect your child’s other parent at ALL times. There’s no excuse for disrespectful behavior toward your co-parent or the other important adults in your children’s lives.
… Can you think of more ways to model respect? Make a bonus challenge for yourself for this strategy.
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You’re going to be great.
Being a parent that teaches and receives respect is easier said than done. I encourage you to remember that you’re not alone. Reach out to your co-parent or to a friend/supportive parent in order to keep yourself on track.
Also, don’t hesitate to contact me for help with getting your child to learn respect. I can help you get ahead, bringing positive change to your life while saving you time and reducing frustration.
Contact me via email or phone for a free consultation.
* * * Bonus: If your child is a tween, you may want to check out my downloadable e-book, an in-depth report on essential info for successful parenting of tweens. It’s on my Family Counseling page. Oh, and it’s completely free! Find it here.