“Why can’t my children do as they are told without attitude?” says the frustrated parent. The larger question then becomes, why are they disrespecting you to begin with? We, as parents, often get caught up in the symptom, but never address the underlying cause of the disrespect- and the disrespect can have many root causes.
Why Would My Child Disrespect Me?
Some of these reasons may be hard to hear, but they may be true. And while the truth may be hard to hear, if we never hear it, then how can we change course accordingly? We can’t.
- They are modelling disrespect shown to them. How do you treat your children? What attitude do you show them? It’s easy to become disrespectful out of frustration and anger, but if it is the main way you interact, your children may be mimicking your own behaviour. If you do not show your children respect, nor do you respect their opinions, feelings, and desires, you may be breeding disrespect in them. Unfortunately, this type of disrespect spills over into interactions with anyone with authority, or anyone who they perceive is challenging them.
- Boundaries for acceptable behaviour have not been set/not been enforced/not been enforced consistently. No parent should be talked down to by their child, nor should they be disrespected in any way. The immediate response should be, “Hey! You don’t speak to me like that/in that tone! I am your mother/father!”. The errant behaviour needs to be addressed as unacceptable, and a continuation should have consequences. However, if they aren’t followed through with consistency, the message to a child becomes vague and results are never seen to fruition.
- Abuse by a partner. Often, when children grow up in this type of environment, they can view the abused partner with disdain. The rational is that if one parent treats the other this way, and the abused person never speaks up, then it is an acceptable interaction. Children who don’t know any better will mimic a toxic home environment because they haven’t been shown a healthy one.
- The people that your child surrounds themselves with. Sometimes, children will test boundaries and explore personalities. The way of getting through it is to reinforce boundaries. If boundaries cannot be enforced, then an examination of influences must be considered.
There are many more reasons, and these just cover the surface of the issue. Each child is unique, and the reasons may vary in each household.
Ross Thompson will discuss not only how to effectively teach your children how to respect you, but to respect you without attitude (or maybe just a little less attitude!). He also talks about the importance of respect in the home, and how that translates into respect for those in authority such as teachers, police, principals, etc. Ross additionally teaches on how disrespectful behaviour often eeks into our homes, is taught to our children, and how to “nip it in the bud” before it becomes a serious problem in the family.
For parents who struggle with teaching their children the importance of respect towards all people, who want to teach their children healthy respect towards those in authority, or just want to enforce good character, this article is a definite must read!
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