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Parenting: 5 Ways to Stop Disrespect and Encourage Respect + Video
By Jean Tracy, MSS
To stop the disrespect you must build a strong backbone. Here are 5 strategies that will strengthen you, build character in your child, and get the respect you deserve.
(Below this article, you'll find a video with more respectful ideas.)
1. Stay Calm When Your Johnny Is Insolent.
Let's say your thirteen-year-old Johnny is changing from an easy-going child to becoming a rude teen when you ask him to clean up his mess in the kitchen. "Why don't you do it?" he sneers. "It's your kitchen."
Avoid getting swallowed alive in an argument. If you do, you may drown in your own sea of disrespectful words, regret your behavior, and end up feeling guilty. Remember, many kids will go to any lengths to argue their case. Be philosophical. Separate yourself from the problem. See insolence as your child's problem, not yours. But how can you separate from your child's behavior?
It would be easier to yell, "Stop being so rude! What's the matter with you?"
Hold your tongue.
Ask yourself, "How can I stay in control of my emotions, think clearly, and have an outcome that is good for both of us?" When you have that answer, you'll be closer to solving the problem.
2. Use Silence and Give Yourself Time to Deal with the Disrespect.
You might say something like, "Johnny, stop! Please talk to me in a respectful way." If you do, speak with calm authority. Use your serious parenting look. Then be silent and wait for Johnny to speak to you with civility.
In most situations, you don't need to react right away. Say, "I need time to think. I'll let you know when I'm ready to talk with you."
Silence can be a powerful way to start handling problems because it keeps your child wondering what you're going to do. Silence also helps you collect your thoughts, decide what to say next, and how to say it. Now that you've collected your thoughts, what could you say to Johnny?
3. Speak to Your Child with Authority and Be Brief.
Avoid showering your child with lots of reasons why Johnny is wrong and you are right. Sooner or later he'll figure out how to twist one of your minor points against you. Your best ideas will be lost. Pick out one or two ideas that say exactly what you want to say. Keep it short.
"Johnny when you insult me with your tone, I feel angry. If you continue to speak to me with disrespect, I won't take you and your friends to the movies this Saturday."
The consequences could be anything you know Johnny wants like his favorite TV shows, computer time, video games, or something else. It's important to be consistent and follow through with your consequences. If you say it, you must do it. Following through with penalties builds character. Otherwise, Johnny will know your backbone is just a wishbone.
4. Don't Expect a Happy Ending to Every Problem.
Sometimes your child will need to experience your backbone several times before realizing you mean what you say. If Johnny has been acting disrespectfully for a long time, it will take many experiences to correct his behavior.
5. Encourage Respect by Complimenting It.
Develop the mind-set of noticing Johnny's respectful tones and words. Even tweens and teens like to be appreciated for their efforts. Here are some examples:
. "Johnny, I like how nicely you spoke to me in front of your friends."
. "Johnny, I noticed how your brother smiled when you congratulated him on his grades."
. "Thanks for cleaning the kitchen so cheerfully."
Don't miss any opportunity to praise him. Be honest, specific, and completely positive. After thinking and speaking with calm authority, praise is the best way to turn him around.
Conclusions for Stopping Disrespect and Encouraging Respect
Strengthen your backbone with calm clear thinking. Make good use of silence. Pick only one or two points to make clear. When you're ready to speak, keep it brief. Give consequences and follow through. Compliment your child's good behavior whenever you see it. If you do, you'll be building character and getting the esteem you deserve.
The brief video, How Parents and Kids Respect Each Other, is below.
Watch the video now. How Parents and Kids Respect Each Other
Jean Tracy, MSS invites you to receive with our Free Parenting Newsletter:
1. 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids
2. 101 Ways to Get Your Children to Cooperate