Today, we hear very often that children have lost respect for their parents. They do not obey the same. They reveal themselves to them. They question decisions, etc. But are we really following the right educational strategy to earn the trust and respect of children? Are we listening and respecting ourselves to our children?
Children’s respect of parents
We are in a society that is not the same as 50 years ago; it has been evolving. Jobs have changed: team collaboration is sought and bosses begin to understand each other as leaders who guide, not so much as someone who imposes what needs to be done. However, on the subject of education, there are still many obsolete forms of relationship.
Formerly, the family was understood as a hierarchy. I command you to obey. You have to do it because I am your father/mother. The fact that a son did not question his parents or did not dare to contradict family decisions was synonymous with respect.
But is respect really that?
Respect is admiration, trust, appreciation. I obey you because what you ask me is consistent. After all, you do not tell me one thing and do another because you stop to explain to me. After all, I also learn from the consequences (I am allowed to be wrong) and because I feel that I matter and I am part of the family.
Imposing, accusing or shouting does not induce respect. Rather they provoke fear. When we treat our child like this, the child does not contradict for fear of being punished, of a slap, of losing the affection of his parents …
What do we teach our children when we do these things?
Really little. The only thing they will do is want to grow up to be able to exercise that power and feel that they control something in their life.
That is why we have to follow the strategy of involving children in daily life. That they feel that they belong to something, that they are taken into account, that they are someone important in their family, feel home as home. Wanting to come back when they grow up, make it their safe place.
The most effective strategy to gain the trust of your children
What happens when children become defiant, push us to the limit every day, or need to attract attention in a negative way?
It happens that we live too fast. We need our children to obey, behave well and not contradict us too much, among other things, because we get nowhere. We are exhausted.
But they don’t understand this. They need to be heard, and they need us to stop. What is happening? What may my child be feeling? What does he need?
Maybe your child is between two and three years old and is at the moment when he says ‘no!’ To everything. In this vital moment, contradicting does not mean challenging. It is part of the differentiation process. If I am not you, I can think differently. You need to test, assert yourself. And if we can stop for a moment and stand before the world, perhaps we can understand.
When a child “misbehaves,” or rather when he does not behave as we expect him to, the most important thing is not to look at the specifics of the behavior but to understand what is happening and why he has done what he has done. What do you want to achieve? What is behind this behavior?
If we punish, we distance ourselves from our son and do not understand what he wants to tell us. Bad behavior is an indication that something is wrong. We have to put words to what he feels, welcome him and understand him. This does not mean that the things you do have no consequences, but you must first feel understood in order for you to understand the consequences and have any interest in changing.
Listen more to your child!
To avoid this sense of being directed everywhere, children, especially some with a stronger personality, need to feel that they have some power of decision. That is why in everyday life situations, we have to offer them alternatives. Do you want these clothes or this one? Do you want spaghetti or macaroni? Do you want to do it now or in 5 minutes?
These issues, which do not determine too much for adults, are essential for the development of the child’s autonomy, confidence and self-esteem.
After these questions, there are many things that our children feel: They listen to me, my opinion is important, they give me my time … Perhaps they are not directly aware, but they are given a place in the family, it makes them think before acting and they feel that count on them.
Giving them the possibility to think when we are not giving them life helps them learn to make decisions and generates a climate of cooperation in the family. We want responsible children who are capable of making decisions, but this will not happen if they do not feel they have the right to think for themselves.
We want children who respect us, but how many times are we unknowingly their parents by not letting them speak, by yelling at them, etc., those of us who are disrespecting them? We want our children to trust us, but are we really listening to them?
Doing things this way may take more effort and time in the short term, but it does guarantee a relationship based on safety and respect in the future.
If you want to win the love of your child, listen before yelling, give him time to learn, forgive when he makes a mistake and above all, trust the person he is and who he is becoming.