Show your kids respect
Children are considered to be little angels who are meant to be showered with oodles of love and affection. It is true that no matter how much a child grows up, for a parent he/she remains just that: a child. However, with time, parents have to understand that from a particular age, it is not enough to simply love your child or to provide for his/her materialistic needs. One needs to respect them too. It sounds like a simple concept, for no matter how young one is, we all deserve to be treated with in a way that respects who we are and who we have the potential to become.
Positive discipline arises out of mutual respect. Love is of course of absolute importance when it comes to handling kids but they also need to be treated with respect. They are also reasonable human beings and they have a subconscious desire to be heard, and to be heard not simply with a casual, nonchalant air, but with due attention and sensitivity. The Golden Rule of every relationship is that: you get what you give. So, if you demand respect from your children, you have to give the same to them as well. Respect isn’t determined by one’s age, and since they too have individuality, a set personality with certain traits and attributes, their own values and ideals, no parent should deny them the respect they deserve.
Kids learn most of their life-lessons by way of imitation, and therefore demonstrating respectful behaviour towards them can go a long way in infusing this virtue within them. You can show respect to your children by discussing their feelings, ideas, opinions and beliefs, and acknowledging their validity. One has to accept the fact that children have their own independent way of thinking which might not be well-synchronised with adult wisdom or worldly manners, but they should not be laughed at or meted out with condescension. Rather, you may facilitate his/her critical thinking skills by discussing other people’s perspectives on the issues concerned. Of course, showing respect does not mean that you have to agree with everything they say or do, or that you will blindly let them take decisions or make crucial choices of their lives, but rather by keeping the lines of communication open, by interacting freely with them, you can make them feel respected as an individual.
We have to reach a point where we talk to children, not talk at them; we have to handle them with care, be it physically, emotionally or otherwise, and not carelessly; we have to trust them with responsibilities and show that we have enough faith in them. Through the various stages of their growth, children go through a lot of psychological upheavals and such trying times can be mitigated by reassuring them that are respected enough, by their parents at least. This will encourage him/her to explore newer ideas, unleash their creativity, develop unique perceptions and hone their skills to the fullest!
Be their confidantes, and let them approach you with confidence that they won’t be disappointed if they share their thoughts and feelings with you. They need to be empowered, in order to let their self-worth come to full flowering. If you take their voice into consideration, you stand no chance of having yours muffled.