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Social Skills for Kids ~ 3 Ways to End Disrespect in Your Kids

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Do you put up with sassiness, pouting, and the word, “No!”? Do you ever wonder, ‘Who's in charge?' Inside you will find 3 parenting tips for being in charge, ending disrespect, and building character in your kids.

Character Building Quote:

Character is the foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character. R.C. Samsel

If you accept disrespect from your child, you are building her character on sand. How can you build her character on stone? Let's see how feedback, the “parenting stare,” and family meetings can help.

Does This Social Skill Problem Happen in Your Home?

Let's pretend you just had the following conversation with your 8-year-old daughter, Janelle.


You – Please clean your room, Janelle.(Janelle's watching TV)
Janelle – I don't want to. You clean it.
You – We're having company. I don't have time.
Janelle – Yes, you do. Besides you always make me do everything. (Janelle keeps watching television.)

Janelle's sass won't help her get along with you, create a winning reputation, or win friends either. If you put up with her disrespect by letting her boss you, she'll boss her teacher and classmates too. Her selfish attitude will guarantee that others won't like her. The respectful side of her character will be soft as sand.

First Parenting Tip for Building a Respectful Character:

Give your child the feedback she needs. Use these magic words:


When you –
I feel –
I want you to –

Here's a Feedback Example:

Janelle, when you sass and say “No,”

I feel angry enough to take away your TV privileges for a week.

I want you to apologize respectfully and clean your room right now.

See how easy it is to fill in the magic formula with your own words? Whatever you do, you must follow through. If Janelle apologizes and cleans her room, fine. Otherwise, take away the TV privileges. If you don't, you'll be earning the disrespect you get and Janelle's character won't be improving either.

Second Parenting Tip for Building a Respectful Character:

Another effective parenting skill is the “parenting stare.” Practice in front of your bedroom mirror. Perfect it to look serious but not mean. When Janelle is sassy give her a long “parenting stare.” Next, with authority in your voice, use few words and tell her what you want her to do. When you do, you'll be earning the respect you deserve and Janelle will know you mean what you say.

Third Parenting Tip for Building a Respectful Character:

Conduct family meetings. I know you're busy. Did you know that family meetings can save you time? You won't be lecturing, yelling, or nagging over and over again. You won't feel helpless because you'll be solving the problems that take so much time and create such bad feelings in your home.

Social Skills Conclusion for Building a Respectful Character:

Consider using one or all three parenting tips. You'll be helping your child build her character on a solid foundation. She'll gain and give respect, be liked by others, and be happier too.

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Feel free to use this article if you include the following:

Jean Tracy, MSS publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe at www.KidsDiscuss.com and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

Treat yourself and your family to the Family Meeting Diary and the Social Skills Kit for Kids and watch your family grow with respect.

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