You can and should communicate the expectation of respect from your kids, but it’s not something you can control or see results from simply by demanding it from them.
Respect means to esteem, to honor, to have favor, or to have consideration for. We all want to be treated with respect, and your children are no different.
On this week’s podcast, we talk about two ways to get your children to respect you.
Demonstrate to your children what respect looks like in a relationship. When you treat them with respect, they will learn to mirror your behavior.
One way to do this is by Respecting Their Time. You know the scenario. Your kids are focused and enjoying playing with Legos at a friend’s house, and you tell them it’s time to go…”RIGHT NOW!” Put yourself in their shoes. Think about how you would feel being abruptly interrupted and removed from doing something you enjoy doing.
Respect their time by giving them a reminder about when it’s time to leave. Give them a buffer of time to change gears. Try saying, “I’m so glad you’re having so much fun. We have to leave in ten minutes. Please finish playing and be ready when it’s time to go.”
Another way is by Respecting Their Personhood. Your kids are just little people! They’re little humans! Treat them with the same respect you would treat an adult. How do you talk to your best friend? How do you talk to strangers? Treat your children the way you treat others.
More important than any instruction we will give to our children is the example we will provide for our children.
Be Someone They Can Respect.
Your children are watching how you drive and how you interact with authorities. They’re listening to the way you talk about others. How do you interact with others in a respectful way?
“A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian… and most of all, his family ought to know.” Dwight L. Moody.
It’s not about perfection, but direction.
When your direction is towards Jesus, your kids will see it. They should see you follow Jesus more and more over time.
Don’t hide your struggles from your kids. Be open and honest about your relationship with the Lord and about the challenges you may be facing in your life. We all make mistakes, so share those mistakes with them!
Pursue God whole-heartedly, and God will give you wisdom in this area. And remember Matthew 7:12 – “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].