I will begin a series called Teaching Your Child Respect: Rules and Consequences for the Month of December. I strongly suggest you wait and read through all the series before you begin to practice.
Now a days a child is told in school that a parent cannot hit them. And though this is VERY true (see here for Your State laws), there still are ways to educate your child how to respect you and others with out abuse.
The Magic Words are: Consistency, Follow Through, Rules and Consequences.
So here are some tips and facts in teaching your child to respect you, their selves and others.
Before we begin: Write down the Good/Positive aspects of your child, as Many as you can. (if you cannot think of some, ask yourself these question, are they breathing? Are they healthy?)
Write down the Good/Positive aspects of yourself. Remember you are NOT perfect and you are a Parent. Keep this list in mind when you are reading this process.
So this is how you can do it.
1. Be the role model: If you want your son or daughter to stop loosing control, show them how. You are who they look at…and I AM NOT saying that YOU are always the cause of it all… I’m stating a fact. Children will always look up to parents now matter who you are. Ever hear a child say I still love my mommy even tho she left me?…this is very true. Children need to feel like they are wanted by the people who made them… heck..adults do too.
2. Most behavior is learned. Either at home and/or at school. It is your job as a parent to set the rules and limits. Your teacher is not your babysitter… they are educators of knowledge. Do not expect them to do the work for you. A Therapist will model at times, teach you how to go about it, but at the end of the day… YOU are the Parent…and you will be the one who will “deal/work though/live with” your child.
3. Unleash your own self confidence, not your anger at your children. A child wants and needs rules. They want a parent to be a parent, the person who knows “everything” even though you may not. They want to know that the are secure, they have a safe place to be in. They want to feel and know that no matter what happens, you are there in their lives making the best of it. Too much for you? Well… to bad. You choose to have a child, you choose to then work though it.
BUT my child has a mental disorder…. BUT that should not matter, he or she is still your child, the person you chose to have in your life. Step up! “Dude ride the waves.”
4. Respect begets respect. You want your child to respect you, do the same. You want them to be assertive… you already know… then model it.
5. When you say you are going to do something, before you promise think about it, are you going to be able to fulfil the promise? Would you like for someone to promise you something but they don’t come through? NO! So then why would you expect your child to do the same.
6. Set rules. At school children learn to behave because they have class room rules they are able to Visually see the Rules on the wall.. its for a reason, because most children are visual at these ages. AND it helps the teacher revert to something if a child says “I don’t know.”
7. Making to many rules will not help you. Keep them simple. Make bed, Brush teeth… etc. Make them a fact. If you say DON’T Do this or Don’t DO that… they will test you even more than they will test you with the simple rules.
8. Review the rules with them, ask them to help you decorate the boarder, include them.
9. Post the Rules in a visible place.
10. Follow your own set rules for the children.
Next Sunday: Part II: Teaching Your Child Respect: Rules and Consequences: How to Implement (ages 4-9)
Smile (if you want)
Disclaimer: I am writing, it is your choice to take my suggestions if you want.