Disciplining Children –Teach Self-Respect and Expect Other-Respect

Guest Post by

Which character trait do you think is the most basic for your child: respect for others or self-respect? It’s self-respect. Teach your children healthy self-respect, and respect for others will develop a lot more easily.  

During my forty years of clinical practice, children have explained self-respect in this way after their parents have been through counseling: I like how my parents respect who I am and that they’ve taught me how to be good. It makes me want to treat others the way I was treated.

Establish self-respect with these tried and tested tips.

Teach self-awareness. Focus on two parts: (1) inside feelings and thoughts, and (2) outside comments and actions. Awareness of feelings and thoughts is accomplished by parents teaching their children feeling words (happy, sad, fearful, angry) and encouraging regular expression of these words. Here’s tween Beth’s comment: “I’m really angry that you’re making me stay home for our family-night dinner.” Expect about a year or two of training (starting at two years of age) before raw expressions of anger can regularly be put into feeling words. Consistent acceptance of your child’s deepest feelings is experienced by your child as your respecting his or her individuality.

Then teach awareness of how feelings cause behavior. At first anger comes out raw: yelling and temper tantrums. With training, feelings will be expressed with words, and learning appropriate behavior will be a lot smoother.

Teach acceptance of individuality. Acceptance of one’s individuality is dependent upon the person accepting his or her feelings and developing a commitment to learn good behavior. Validating a child’s feelings in combination with firm limit setting is the part you play in helping your child accept her individuality. For example you might respond to tween Beth’s upset feelings like this: “I know you’re really angry about missing time with your friends, but our Friday night dinnertime is a nonnegotiable.”

Teach respect for others. Respect means supporting another person’s feelings—especially when there’s a disagreement—and then being able to disagree supportively with the person’s behavior, not with their feelings. When a friend says it’s okay to tell a white lie, teach your child to say, “I know it seems okay to not tell your parents if we sneak out if they don’t find out, but it’s something I’m not comfortable doing.” I messages are the best way to disagree respectfully.

And then there’s respect for authority, which means saying nothing at all while doing what is asked or knowing when and how to disagree. Help your child look for situations to practice these skills and role play different ways to handle each circumstance.

Oh, and don’t forget to teach your child to acknowledge things they respect in others, such as making good grades or being skilled at something like dance, sports, or art. In many ways respect is about showing interest in others.

Take-home lesson: Establish self-respect and expect your child to respect others.

Gary M. Unruh, MSW LCSW, a forty-year veteran mental health practitioner, is the author of 2010 award-winning book: Unleashing the Power of Parental Love: 4 Steps to Raising Joyful and Self-Confident Kids  (www.unleashingparentallove.com).

Advertisements

Posted on October 12, 2011, in Children/Juvenile, Education, Parenting, Personal Growth. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Superb article mate but how do get your rss feed? Please sending us an e-mail with instructions?Florida condo insuranceloft conversions brentwood

  2. iwc replica I do agree with all of the ideas you've presented in your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  3. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!iwc replica

  4. I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheerslouis vuitton 2011 collection

  5. I really enjoyed this post. You describe this topic very well. I really enjoy reading your blog and I will definitely bookmark it! Keep up the interesting posts rolex sea dweller.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: