If your kids don't respect you, something's wrong with you're prescription for parenting.
In an interview with child counseling expert, Colleen Holbrook, I asked, "What's your prescription for building a strong respectful family?
Colleen: I ask parents, "What kind of a family do you want?"
Jean: What do you mean?
Colleen: Each family is a little different. Parents do better when they think clearly about the kind of family they want.
Jean: What does this have to do respect?
Colleen: Everything. Families, like houses, need strong foundations. The foundation for a strong family include rules, expectations, consequences, follow through, and affection. Parents need to think about these concepts when deciding the kind of family they want.
Jean: What happens when familes don't have strong foundations?
Colleen: They produce signs of weakness, like the cracks in homes built on sand. In these homes you find, power struggles, rules not kept, and anxious kids.
I remember a raging 4-year-old. His rages controlled his parents. His parents were inconsistent with their rules and expectations.This kid was anxious too. He had too much power and not enough experience. He wasn't ready to be their boss.
Jean: So you're saying, when kids have too much power they feel anxious.
Colleen: Yes, because they know their parents sometimes say "No" and sometimes say "Yes" about the same rule. These kids keep pushing, raging, and wondering if their parents will follow through. Kids always challenge when parents are inconsistent.
Jean: Do you have a prescription for building solid families?
1. Think through the rules and expectations you want.
2. Be consistent in following through with reasonable consequences when they are broken.
3. Be a loving parent.
~ Colleen Holbrook, LICSW, CMHS http://www.colleenholbrook.com
I left Colleen admiring her prescription for good parenting. My experience in working with families mirrors Colleen's advice:
1. Be kind.
2. Be firm.
3. Be consistent.
If you build your family with this prescription, the foundation for your family will be strong. Your children will respect you too.
What about you? What do you think?
Please comment in the comment link below. When you do, I'll send you a gift with 7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging Respectful Behavior.
With warm wishes,
Jean Tracy, MSS
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