Do your kids wipe their feet on you like a doormat? Do you ever find yourself grieving because you've lost the dream of having kind, appreciative kids?
You're not alone, and there are steps you can take to begin turning things around.
On a daily basis, remind yourself that you deserve to be treated with the same level of respect with which you treat your kids. Maintaining this attitude of self-respect gives us the intestinal fortitude to expect respect in a respectful way.
Don't move on until you've neutralized arguing. This means repeating something like, "I love you too much to argue," instead of getting pulled into a debate.
When you become good at neutralizing arguments, begin setting small yet completely controllable limits. Pick small issues that you have total control over. Then set limits you are prepared to enforce. For example: "I'll get that for you when I hear 'please.'" Since you've already mastered the ability to stay out of arguments, you'll be prepared for your child's reaction.
Remember to model an assertive, respectful and empathetic attitude. When we've been treated badly by our kids, it's easy to fall into the trap of providing consequences with a "get-even" attitude. If we do, our kids will sense this and rebel.
Begin to set progressively larger limits. When our youngsters begin to see that we can handle smaller situations without backing-down or losing our cool, it becomes easier to set and enforce limits over big issues.
The key to rebuilding respect from our kids involves proving to them that we can handle them without getting frustrated or angry. In my CD, Oh Great! What do I do now?
, I provide more practical tips for making this happen.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay