Sunday, August 24, 2008

Respectful Children

My husband and I wanted to have respectful children and we were not only interested in externally respectful behaviour. We didn't want our child to perform. We expected more than just kissing all of the grown-ups in the room. We wanted her to be respectful because it resided in her heart. To help children adopt this way of being takes commitment and much training.

I am just old enough to remember the days when children were respectful out of fear. When Mom gave that look you'd better shape up or else... I remember when it was unthinkable to be sassy or a smart alec.

Unfortunately, times have changed and discipline styles have been relaxed in order to allow our children freedom to express themselves. Those who have adopted these more relaxed parenting styles should not be surprised that their children do not naturally display respect. In fact, some parents actually think it's cute for their toddler to answer back and behave in a saucy manner. Should those parents be surprised when their middle schoolers behave appallingly? A sassy three-year old is an embarrassing seven-year-old. Left to their own devices, our children will be as selfish and disrespectful as we will allow.

Going back to basics is still the best.

Experts said that attitudes don't happen automatically. They take root when parents teach their children fundamental politeness - and we parents practice it ourselves! The bottom line is to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. If we can establish this to our kids' earliest years, they'll be less likely to rebel when they're older -and we will be much better prepared to handle the uprisings that inevitably come along.

One way to foster respectfulness in your child is to teach her to be sensitive to other people's feelings. Teasing is not allowed in our home. We try to be careful that our words won't hurt another's feelings. The old mantra sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me is nonsense. Words are powerful. Words can inspire and encourage or shame and destroy.

Most employees will stay at a lower paying job where they feel valued and respected over a higher paying one when they are treated poorly. If we add value to people, they add value to us. Teaching our children to respect others and themselves, we parents will not only be proud to bring them anywhere but we will be providing our needy world with great leaders. That is the kind of investment that yields the greatest returns.


reanaclaire said...

very well said and posted.. yr blog is very interesting esp the disco part.. like u, i like to disco during the 80s..but i didnt fall then.. haha.. anyway, keep the good memories..

Mom of Four said...

I agree with you on the, teach the children how to be respectful at the early age. I am proud to say that my children are well behaved in and out of the house, because my husband doesn't tolerate back talking..No hitting, no yelling at each other and when they fought, they have to hug for at least 15 minutes, face to face. Or if they did something unacceptable, they have to stand in the corner until they realized what mistake they have done.
on the other learn things from their environment, school bus, playground, cafeteria.
NO matter how careful we teach our kids, time will come that they will get influenced by the outside world..
My 6 yr old can be so sweet and really polite..but he hears words from other children inside his bus..and we just have to monitor his sentences once in a while, and we ask him where did he learn that word and we tell him, he cannot use those words in and out of our house.
What can you do? the world is scary..
Great posting Momnificent....

MOMnificent said...

you have a nice blog yourself reanaclaire and the photos too, you took it yourself?

hi liza,i think you are a super mom! I only have one and yet I feel like I am mothering a dozen.:) how do you handle your four?! Its really not easy to be a parent, good thing we have supportive and loving husband.