The reward of respect is respect

One of the greatest blessings on this earth is to be a parent. What a privilege to be given such a precious being to mold and love. We all need to be sure we continue to mold this being into an even more precious soul. With each day we spend with our children we are molding his future and the world’s future. What the future holds is up to us as parents. We can make it a very dark future or a beautiful one.

I was blessed with two wonderful little boys. Raising my two sons was the greatest joy and highlight of my life. As all little boys are at times they would be a challenge. I always tried to treat them with the same love and respect that I wanted them to treat me with. I know there were times I lost my temper and yelled. Best I remember I did not yell on a regular basis. I hope they remember it the same way. I remember very few times them yelling at me. I tried to teach them high self esteem and confidence. I wanted them to achieve all that they could in life. I personally believe that the Golden Rule should be the Golden Rule for parents: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is so true in the relationship between parent and child.

I recently found a wonderful article that sums up what I believe about teaching children respect.

A parent can not teach respect by showing disrespect to a child. It just does not work that way. You can not scream at a child over and over, day after day, and then not expect your child to do the same. ( Think back to the last time your spouse yelled or screamed at you, how did it make you feel?) I might add you can not argue every little thing and not expect your child to learn to do the same thing. You have to pick you battles and let some things just go on by. There is no need to correct for every little error. Sometimes errors are a good way to learn.

On a daily basis a child should have a time to just sit down and talk with his parents. Talk about the day, next week, something that might need to be changed. Do not wait until there is a conflict and then decide to start yelling and correcting, they do not go together. Talk to them calmly about something that might need to be changed or about something that is not acceptable. example: Don’t wait until bedtime to make a change in routine. Let them know a head of time when you are having their daily talk with you. That there is going to be a change.

I am in no manner saying I do not believe in discipline. My sons would quickly tell you that. I also believe that screaming, yelling and name calling from a parent is a form of abuse.

I recall a very sad incident that occurred in our area a few years ago. This involved an 11 year boy and the fact he felt like life was just to sad to continue with it. At 11 he took his own life following a bad day at school. This child was bullied and called names on a daily basis at school. Then coming home not to a compassionate, affectionate, loving mom, but to one screaming at him once again. He left the following note that I would like to paraphrase: My life is too sad. The kids at school do not like me because I am not a good ball player, they call me names, scream at me, push and hit me. When I go home my mom screams because my room is not clean or I did something she didn’t like. I can not take anymore. I love you. He then took his dads gun and ended his life.

Children will eventually express themselves as their parents do. It takes years of effective teaching to refine those skills. This is accurate on both the positive side and negative side. It takes years to rear a respectful child and only moments to fill one with anger and disrespect.

All children are born perfect. No child is born being disrespectful. The way a parent treats and teaches them determines their behavior. Hold them tight. Pray for them. Praise praise praise them. Love them with all your heart. Speak with kindness but firmness. Say what you mean and stick to what you say.

Please follow this link to 10 tips on teaching respect.

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