This is some parenting advice from John Petersen Psy. D.
But I think it is the way that all social environments or classrooms for all ages from 3 to adult can be made into safe places for all people to freely associate, work collaboratively together, and learn together. Anywhere it says “children” just sub the word “people”.
Gaining children’s respect begins with treating them respectfully and focusing on the relationship. Here are some suggestions:
Strive for cooperation, not compliance. Cooperation connotes mutual consideration and the freedom to contribute one’s opinion and influence. Compliance can be mindless submission and always requires less investment from the child.
In general, don’t do for a child what the child can do for him/herself. Undue service is disrespectful.
Be consistent in your expectations. Being lax one day and firm the next shows disrespect for the relationship—it demonstrates that your mood and energy level come before the parent/child relationship in importance.
Separate the deed from the doer, stay problem focused, and work toward agreements via discussion.
Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Follow through. Respect kids enough to know they understand the issue. They don’t need repeated reminders, repeated explanations, or threats.
State the problem as a social problem. Note how the problem detracts from intimacy and enjoyment of each other, and then ask for help in solving the difficulty. “When you two fight in the car, I don’t enjoy being with you and I don’t feel like taking you with me next time. What should we do about this?”
Don’t talk down to children. Get rid of the cartoon voice and show genuine emotion.”
© Copyright 2008 by John Petersen, Psy.D., therapist in South Bend, Indiana. All Rights Reserved.