“Shut down,” my four-year-old nephew would say. This was his way of getting around the family rule of not saying, “Shut up.”
I guess he found a loop hole.
Doesn’t shut down make more sense? Shut down is like: Stop, halt, quit.
As we move into midsummer, I ‘ll bet some of you are ready to shut down the back talk. Lots of kids, especially those ten and older, dish out some pretty sassy words.
So what is a parent to do?
Shut. It. Down.
Disrespect is not okay.
God commands us to honor our parents. Our kids won’t know what honor, respect on steroids, looks like until they are taught about respect.
Are you weary from a lack of care, concern, and kindness in the world today? I know I am. It is up to us to train our kids to be respectful.
- Disrespect may look like a little one sticking out his tongue, the little kid version of the older kid’s display of the middle finger.
- Disrespect in a younger child may sound like, “You’re not the boss of me.” In an older child, disrespect drips of condescension and sarcasm.
- Disrespect may be a lack of action like: not opening a door for a person with his hands full or not giving up a seat on a bus for an older person or a pregnant woman.
- Disrespect comes in all shapes and sizes ranging from rolling eyes to big sighs, hands on hips to tongue clicks.
We know it when we are the target. And we know it when we shoot those “dissing” arrows.
Here’s the parent’s line, “I treat you with respect, I expect respect in return.” (Of course we can only say it if that’s true.) “Stop. Restate your request respectfully.”
Respect is a character quality that must be encouraged in order to be owned and developed. Parents need to model it and insist upon it. Respect values another person. It demonstrates love, humility, and concern.
If we bring respect back into the family, we will influence society in a big positive way. And, I don’t know about you, but it sure would be nice to live in a world that remains respectful even when we don’t see things eye-to-eye.
1 Peter 2:17
co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, co-author of 3 parenting books, mom of four (plus one daughter-in-love) Contact Lori for your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses.
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About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.