Teach­ing chil­dren about re­spect

The McLeod River Post - - News - Gwen Ran­dall-Young Gwen Randa II-Young is an au­thor and award-win­ning Psy­chother­a­pist, visit www.gwen.ca . Fol­low Gwen on Face­Book for daily in­spi­ra­tion.

All par­ents want to be re­spected by their chil­dren. If chil­dren are dis­re­spect­ful. par­ents some­times try to teach them re­spect by pun­ish­ing, or yelling and scream­ing. This may change their be­hav­ior and may elicit com­pli­ance, but it will not win re­spect. This is not to say that dis­re­spect should be ig­nored. If we al­low oth­ers to treat us dis­re­spect­fully, then we are not re­spect­ing our­selves. Re­spect is gen­er­ated, es­sen­tially, by treat­ing oth­ers the way we would li e to be treated. From very early on. chil­dren need to be made aware of how their be­hav­ior af­fects oth­ers. Rather than sim­ply say­ing that hit­ting is bad, whic leaves the in­fer­ence that the child is bad for hit­ting, we must go fur­ther. It is im­por­tant to ex­plain that when you hit your brother, it makes him very sad. It might even make him afraid. ' it­ting is not some­thing we do in our fam­ily. If you are very up­set, I wi 1 help you with your feel­ings. and help you to solve prob­lem you are hav­ing. You are im­por­tant to me. an your feel­ings are im­por­tant. We will find a way to sort things out with­out hit­ting, and in a way that lets ev­ery­one feel okay.’ This kind of com­mu­ni­ca­tion is highly ef­fec­tive. be­cause there is con­gru­ency be­tween the mes­sage. and way in which it is given. In other words, we are teach­ing the child about re­spect in a way that also re­spects that child. Spank­ing a child while telling him that hit­ting is wrong makes no sense at all. Nor does speak­ing rudely to a child about showin more re­spect. It is when we fafi to prac­tice what we preach that the seeds of dis­re­spect are born. Con­sider the politi­cian who ad­vo­cates fis­cal re­straint while giv­ing him­self a gay raise. ven a young chil can spot dis­crep­an­cies be­tween our words and our ac­tions. If they are later pun­ished for be­hav­ior that they have mod­eled from us. then there will be not only dis­re­spect, but also re­sent­ment. If chil­dren are lit­tle, you can im­ple­ment strate­gies which foster mu­tual re­spect. What if your chil­dren are older. and the neg­a­tive pat­terns are well es­tab­lished? There is still hope. Sit clown with your chil­dren and tell them that you are aware that you have all been treatin each other with dis­re­spect. in­di­cate that you are no longer com­fort­able with this. and will hence­forth be en­deav­or­ing to say what you have to say to them in a more re­spect­ful man­ner. Change must be in some­where, so ou will be tie first vol­un­teer You may cer­tainly re­quest that they do the same. There may still be con­se­quences for in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior. be­cause you are the par­ent and not only dis­re­spect, but also re­sent­ment. If chil­dren are lit­tle, you can im­ple­ment strate­gies which foster mu­tual re­spect. What if your chil­dren are older. and the neg­a­tive pat­terns are well es­tab­lished? There is still hope. Sit clown with your chil­dren and tell them that you are aware that you have all been treatin each other with dis­re­spect. in­di­cate that you are no longer com­fort­able with this. and will hence­forth been en­deav­or­ing to say what you have to say to them in a more re­spect­ful man­ner. Change must be in some­where, so ou will be tie first vol­un­teer You may cer­tainly re­quest that they do the same. There may still be con­se­quences for in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior. be­cause you are the par­ent and

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