I was watching Dr. Phil today, and he was talking with women who are self-proclaimed "bitches." He made an interesting statement: "I believe we earn respect, not demand it." He went on to say that those who demand respect often think they 'win' in terms of the relationship, however, he said that those around them often do what they need to do so they can get away from them.
This got me to thinking about our relationship with our kids. Of course, we all want our kids to respect us, but how do we go about getting it? Are you demanding your children's respect or are you earning it? Do we want our kids to comply only because they want to get away from us?
Looking back up on my own upbringing, I remember being extremely upset if I thought that I had disappointed my parents. I cared THAT much about their respect. They didn't demand my respect, they earned it. They empowered, encouraged and treated me with dignity and respect at all times. As a result, I was highly motivated to make choices that would maintain this relationship. Although, there were those years during adolescence...(sorry about that mom and dad!). Well, that's a story for another time...
Parents who demand their child's respect often experience the following:
· They give us the minimum to get us to shut up.
· They become numb to the demands for respect and eventually tune us out.
Can you see how demanding respect from our kids can lead to passive-aggressive responses? Although they may comply with our demands regarding behavior in front of us, they are likely going to sabotage behind our backs.
Have you ever heard or seen kids make the statement as teens "My mom and dad would FREAK if they new I was doing this!" Of course, this is usually said with a large smile and a sense of excitement.
The benefits of earned respect:
· Enhanced communication with your child.
· Increase likelyhood of compliant behavior.
· Teaching an essential life skill that will enhance their relationships with others.
And the list of benefits could go on and on.
Here's another way to think about respect: What do you want your kids thinking about you when you walk away? Do you want them to think "He/she is a #$*@" or "Man, I screwed up. What am I going to do to fix this?"
So, do you demand respect from your kids or have you earned it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well as any tips or strategies you have developed that have helped you to earn your children's respect!