Cherie from MOPS (Mother’s of Pre Schoolers) joins Mornings with Mike to discuss parenting and teaching respect.
We often look around and see lots of instances of disrespect. Children arguing with their parents, teachers, using bad language or ignoring them. We even see it in very young children too.
TV and Youtube clips often romanticise people who are rude or disrespectful and make them out to be anti-heroes.
“My generation wasn’t the ‘children can be seen but not heard’ generation, but when I was a child, all the kids addressed all the adults as Mr and Mrs, maybe Aunty and Uncle if they were special friends of the family. People respected road rules and police officers, now we’re seeing that erode.” Says Cherie.
“I haven’t insisted with my kids that they must refer to all adults as Mr and Mrs, because respect is an attitude. A child can call an adult by their first name in an affectionate and esteemed way, so it’s still respectful.”
Authority, parents, elders, peers, siblings, property of others and nature, those 6 things create the basis for our character.
With these things, we have to remember our children are not our friends, we have to take that relationship as parents seriously. When they’re adults, then it’s appropriate to move into a friendship, but when they’re young they’re the children.
The goal is the nip these actions in the bud and have consequences. If your child is disrespectful and you don’t follow through with the said consequences they won’t listen to you because they can’t trust you.
Teaching respect starts straight away. Teach them thank you, please. Teach them to look people in the eye when they talk to you. Teach them to respect the people around them, by leaving the cafe when they start throwing a tantrum.
Remember it’s like steering an ocean liner, you know where you want to go so you have to keep turning, turning, turning that wheel.
If our children embarrass us, rather than dealing with their behaviour, react out of anger and emotion. So the best thing to do is take them out of the situation deal with it in private. Go through with them what they did wrong and talk about the consequence if there is one. Use it as a teachable moment, what did they do wrong, what will they do next time etc.
When my kids were young and they threw tantrums, I would take them aside and just hold them until they calmed down, and then when we both were calm we could properly talk about it.
It’s a slow process, slowly nudging them into alignment with the standards and values you want them to grow into.