How to Reach Your Tween Through Respect
Disrespect is hard for anyone to stomach, especially us parents. We expect our kids to respect us because we deserve it, we’re the parents... right?
As a man especially, respect is likely the most important thing to receive from my children. And has been one of the largest growing pains for me as a father.
However, the questions we need to ask ourselves is, “why do I expect my child to show me respect?” and “why is it so important to me that my child shows me respect?”
Notice, these are “I” focused questions. Where you are actually focusing on your internal self. Working through these questions and identifying the answers can tell you a lot about yourself, and help you navigate scenarios with your children when you feel most disrespected.
Hopefully, these questions help you realize where your expectations and mindset are off. Generally speaking, these questions bring up issues of pride and narcissism within ourselves. If we are self-focused, how can we expect our children to be any different?
I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to parent; you know your child better than I do. However, I do know that all of us tend to have a natural bend towards being selfish and if we are not willing to make that change in our self, we can expect no less of our children.
Selfishness destroys all relationships, whether it is a friendship, marriage, or parent/child. And our children primarily learn how to interact and treat others based on how they experience the relationship with you as their parent.
This sounds easy when you write it, but the application process is very difficult, as we all know. Why do you think this is?
I’m going to venture to guess that we struggle with responding well to our children in these moments because our parents struggled with it, and their parents struggled with it. Reactions are passed down from generations, because it “worked for you” so why wouldn’t it work for your child, right?
When your child is being disrespectful, instead of getting angry, try taking a step back and ask yourself these questions.
(1) “What have I done to influence this behavior?”
(2) “What is my child’s perception of the situation?”
(3) “How would my child feel most loved and respected right now?”
These questions demand that you take your attention off of yourself and put it onto your child. Because after all, let’s remember, they are only children... We cannot expect them to act the way we would, or to view the world in a way that we do. That is why we are the parents, it is our job to teach them. And why not teach in a way better than we were taught...