In my grandmother’s generation, “children were to be seen but not heard.” Only parents/adults deserved respect. Next, parents learned to “listen so their children/teens would talk,” but still expected respect from them. Today, it seems that many children and teens openly disrespect their parents, and we allow it.
What’s happened? When did we start worrying more about our children’s love and approval than teaching them to be considerate and thoughtful? A few months ago one mom told me that she was so hurt by her three year-old yelling at her “I hate you,” she collapsed in a puddle on the floor. Another mom related how her 10 year-old screamed at her for opening the room to her door without knocking so she apologized. The problem is not that these situations occur, but that we don’t assert ourselves and use reasonable consequences because we’re afraid of how our children will respond.
Like all moms, I know how hard it is to speak up and enforce limits. But I learned that although I felt bad , it was more it was more important to teach my daughters RESPECT than be their friend or fear their disapproval. I treated them respectfully and expected the same.
When my younger daughter yelled at me, I warned her once and sent her to her room. When my older daughter wouldn’t listen, we didn’t go to the mall that day. While they didn’t like it then, now they value respect, consideration and courtesy in their relationships. We joke about my younger daughter running from me saying, “No more consequences.”
SPEAK UP. It works.