Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back with another Slice of Life Post and today I want to touch on something that all kids need to learn. They need to learn they deserve respect.
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This is one of the things I worry about while I’m in the process of raising two boys. We’re very good at telling them they need to respect adults, their friends, and family members, but I think as parents we forget our kids are also entitled to receive respect.
This is one of the reasons I believe bullying is such a problem.
Teaching our children they have value even if they don’t have a lot of life experience, is one of the keys to building self-esteem. How do we do this? That is a very good question and I’m so glad you asked.
We do this by asking their opinions. By asking them to help make family decisions. Recently, my husband and I were car shopping, and we brought the boys along. When we test drove a car, we asked them how they felt about it. We really listened to their input. This is one of the key ways to teach them how to not only articulate their opinions, but also how to negotiate for what they want. Important life skills, don’t you agree?
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Another way we can teach our kids they deserve respect is for us, parents, to respect them when they reach out to us. Don’t brush off their concerns or worries because we’ve got bigger problems to contend with. We have to be patient and realize whatever our child is dealing with, it’s probably a brand new experience and he needs help on how to handle it.
All kids grow at their own pace, we as parents need to respect that pace. Whether it’s fast enough for us or not. Because at this point, it is all about them, isn’t it?
We need to teach our kids to recognize disrespect for what it is and not react to it, to not let it damage their self-esteem. A fast recovery from these slights is important for our kids to have a more fulfilling life, wouldn’t you agree?
So how do you teach your child to handle disrespect? I struggled with this one because I have a hard time with this myself. I always think of a great come back five hours later. I shouldn’t even be thinking about the incident five hours later! But I digress.
It depends on the situation, but I’ve found that the best way to deal with this is to use “I” messages.
“I feel disrespected when you talk to me in that tone of voice.”
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The reason I think “I” messages are important is because it doesn’t put the bully on the defensive. Your child isn’t saying anything about him. He’s communicating his feelings. Whereas if his response were:
“You’re being mean to me.”
Then the bully will argue. You’re child and the antagonizer will get into a debate on whether or not he is being mean, and then there won’t be a satisfactory conclusion to the confrontation.
In the first scenario, it opens up an opportunity for your child and the bully to come to an understanding and maybe even become closer. That’s what we’re trying to do, isn’t it? Become closer? To have a better understanding of our peers and have mutual respect for each other?
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you have any ideas, I’d love to read them. Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!
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