Want Your Child’s Respect? You Have to Give it First
If you want your child to eat their vegetables, guess what? You have to eat your vegetables first. As a parent, what you model is 10,000 times more powerful than what you say. Want respect? Give respect. Yes, it is so much faster and easier to tell your child what to do. Yet, if you expect them to “do as you say, not as you do”, what you might actually be teaching them is how to be hypocritical.
Of course, you want to raise respectful children who become respectful teens who become respectful adults. Respectful children and teens are a joy to have around! To foster this in your child, work on offering respect to them and to others (they’ll notice), this allows you to expect it in return.
Respect Raises Self-Esteem
Being respectful to your child builds a sense of self-value and raises their self-esteem. When they feel worthy of being treated fairly, when they feel worthy of being respected, they want that for you and others around them.
Model what you want to see from them
- Say “please” and “thank you” your child will
- Keep your promises, they will learn to keep their promises
- When you are upset, yet keep your voice calm, your child will learn to do the same
A child will only give you the same level of respect you give them.
If you’re trying to navigate a problem, ask yourself, “what is it that I want to model?” You’ll find this is a great way to teach them your values and to be respectful to you and others.
As a parent, if you’re finding it difficult to model your values, or are unsure about your techniques, parenting coaching might help. If your child needs some extra help, child therapy might be the ticket. If they’re an adolescent, teen counseling might get you and them on track.
For teen counseling, Erin Manhardt is a Youth & Family therapist at Bellevue Family Counseling. Erin is passionate about working with youths who are struggling in relationships and school. Contact Erin at Bellevue Counseling in Bellevue Washington.