How-to teach children to respect their parents
Parents are tasked with teaching their children many lessons. Some are more obvious, like how to live safely or how to ride a bike or tie their shoes. Other lessons are more complicated and abstract, especially as they pertain to issues like respect.
Early in life, children get attention by crying, throwing tantrums or through other means. Youngsters must be taught to be respectful of others, including their own parents. People, including children, may have their own ideas in regard to what constitutes respect, so families have to work together to find common ground.
Parenting for Brain, a parenting resource that focuses on child psychology, notes that respect can refer to the way kids admire or look up to someone, but also as an act of giving attention and showing care. It’s not simply about being compliant. Establishing patterns for respect can be challenging because there are no shortages of situations in popular culture – from movies to music to social media – that complicate, if not compromise, parents’ efforts to teach children respect. However, there are ways to teach kids how to respect their parents.
Be a good role model
Children learn by examining the world around them. If parents are rude to restaurant servers, cut people off on roadways, make fun of others, or even yell at members of their own families, their children are more likely to follow suit.
Be a parent first, not a friend
Raising children is complicated, but many parents try to be their kids’ friends before they act as their parents. While it seems healthy to want to hang out and be equals with them, Psychology Today warns that this approach compromises the unique relationship parents have with their children because kids have many friends but not an infinite number of parents. Children should not have equal power with their parents as they would their peers. Plus, kids often don’t respect parents who try to act like their friends. They may feel their parents are trying too hard, and some may even grow to resent their parents for trying to be friends first and parents second.
Explore other outlets for anger
Children may act out and be disrespectful to others when faced with strong emotions that make them feel angry or overwhelmed. In addition to encouraging kids to talk out their scary feelings, parents can guide them toward outlets to relieve frustration, such as engaging in healthy exercise or even escaping into a craft or hobby. Children who are struggling to cope with a significant life change may need a little time to get back on track.
Teaching respect takes time and is not a one-size-fits-all task. Parents must find an approach that works for them and their children.
– Metro Creative