This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Parenting for Peace

3 Parenting StrategiesAs parents, we are continually seeking strategies that will bring peace and calm to our busy home.

In Part 1 of this post, we looked at an effective strategy for easing transition times and creating more smooth situations. Part 2 was about helping kids learn boundaries, how to be quiet, and how to focus.

Let’s talk about a huge obedience issue in today’s culture. Today’s post addresses how to teach children to respond to adults with respect. This is another area where Mike and I thought we were strict with our kids, but have come to realize that in the past we did not set a high enough standard for our children.

3 Parenting Strategies That Will Bring Peace to Your Home Within Days: Part 3

3. Responding Respectfully to Adults

Now, when we ask our children to do something, there are only 3 appropriate responses:

“Yes, Mom,” or “Yes, Dad.” (or Mr. or Mrs. _______)

“Okay, Mom,” or “Okay, Dad.” (or Mr. or Mrs. ______)

“Yes, Ma’am,” or “Yes, Sir.”

Those are the only acceptable choices, and they must be spoken with the proper eye contact and with a respectful attitude.

No sighing, no eye rolling, no “Fine!” No foot stomping as they go off with a pout to do something.

We used to put up with so much of that, thinking, “Well, at least they are complying.” I had always read that we have to pick our battles in parenting, and I didn’t want to battle with my kids over little stuff.

Yet what we have learned is that as Proverbs 13:3 says, “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” We have a responsibility to teach our children self-control in this important area.

If our children cannot learn to respect and obey us, how will they learn to respect and obey God?

The next obvious question is, “What do we do when our kids do not speak to us properly?” The answer to this is several more articles (watch for future posts), but in the meantime, our child does not move forward with life until he or she gives us a respectful response. We are the adults, and we control our child’s world.

Some parents may be thinking, “But I have stuff to do!” I can totally relate. Kids will play every power struggle trick in the book to see if we are serious about following through. If we start yelling and arguing with them, we’ve defeated the purpose of teaching about respect and self-control, right?

The trick is to take the pressure off. Instead of starting on a tirade of, “You will treat your mother with respect, young man!”

Try, “Okay, no problem. You just sit here and rest awhile until you gather up enough strength to speak to me respectfully.” Then I’ll take the other kids and go do something fun with them. My goal is always to make family life fun and interesting, and the child who is sitting out wants to be a part of what we are doing.

I do not set out the rewards for good behavior ahead of time. (“If you do this, then you will get a piece of candy.”) Instead, they just never know when they might randomly get rewarded for good behavior out of the blue. I love doing this type of reward when another child is resting until they are strong enough to show proper respect to an adult.

How do you teach your children to speak to adults with respect?

3 Parenting Strategies

These are some of the resources we are using for our parenting techniques:

Nancy Thomas, When Love is Not Enough

Nancy Thomas, Healing Trust: Rebuilding the Broken Bond

Bruce Perry, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories From a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook

FREE Parenting Hacks!

Smart parenting hacks pic

*FREE Smart Parenting Hacks Printables

*10 Printables: House Rules, Lunch Box Notes, Chores, Family Technology Agreement, Clean Eating for Kids.

*Calmer Kids = Happier You!

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