–by All Pro Dad
A good friend of mine is an upstanding member of the community. He is hard working, profitable in business, conducts himself with integrity, and has played leadership roles in a number of local charitable causes. He has made a concerted effort to be respected in his town and has succeeded. Yet the one person who should respect him the most is his son, but that has been a struggle. Respect can’t be demanded – yet that’s exactly what we try.
Families simply can’t function without respect – but the more we push, the more elusive it seems to be. So what’s the answer? Why won’t children fall into line? What kind of plan can possibly help? There are no easy answers, but there are positive directions. First, try backing off. Families are not the military and there is no uniform code of conduct. If you want to earn respect from your children, do these 10 things.
1. Respect your children:
This is going to look different from child to child, but you know when you’re disrespectful – and so do they. As the parent, this is something we can teach by doing.
2. Respect your spouse:
The relationship between parents sets the tone for the greater family dynamic. When children witness mom and dad treat one another with love and respect – despite their differences – the standard has been set. On the other hand, when kids witness their parents bring one another down – it’s an uphill climb from there.
3. Be consistent:
Children need to know what to expect. Inconsistency on the part of parents leaves kids floundering. Consistency is both a compass and an anchor.
4. Follow through:
Another way to say this is, “Tell the truth.” That means to think carefully before you lay out a potential consequence because the moment you fail to follow through, your credibility and your respect are out the window.
5. Spend more time teaching love than teaching rules:
Children who are taught the connection between love and discipline can accept consequences more easily than those who are governed exclusively by “chapter and verse.” Love does not demand respect, love commands respect.
6. Live with integrity:
Children are master observers. Personal work ethic, paying bills, charitable giving, helping others, generous with tips, talking positively about others behind their backs, etc. All of these are areas where we build and sustain the kind of character our kids will respond to with respect.
7. Be a family:
Is this a family you consider worthy of your best? Is your family job one? This means being proactive about family life. Have meals together, go on special trips and events. Do game nights, go on vacation.
8. Be a leader:
Don’t just love, love from the front. Parents are family leaders, and one way to lead is to love from the front. Serve them. Listen to their needs and respond with care.
9. Don’t try to be their friend:
This can be hard because we want so much to be liked by our kids. But that’s not something we should be fishing for. Don’t even worry about being loved – be their parent instead. The like part really isn’t a factor, because, that’s not why you’re there, is it? You are there to love them and part of that is protecting them from themselves. Do what is best for them even when they disagree.
10. Tell the truth:
We’re not just talking about words here. Tell the truth about what you believe – and then follow through. Tell the truth about what your values are – and then live them. Tell the truth about your love – and then love with as much energy as you can muster. Be genuine, let your gifts come through, do your very best at being who you are. They’re not going to love anything short of your authentic self.
Article source: www.allprodad.com.
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