Kids (4-12)

6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Respect You

The bad news: respect can’t be commanded or demanded—yet that’s exactly what we often try.  The good news: there are things you can do to earn your children’s respect.  Here are 6 ways to get started.

1. Respect your children.

This is going to look different from child to child, but you know when you’re disrespectful—and so do they. As the parent, this is something we can teach by doing.

2. Respect your husband.

This is huge. The relationship between parents sets the tone for the greater family dynamic. When children see mom and dad treat each other with love and respect—despite their differences—the standard has been set.

3. Spend more time teaching love than teaching rules.

Children who are taught the connection between love and discipline can accept consequences more easily than those who are governed exclusively by “do it because I said so” and “chapter and verse.”

4. Live with integrity.

Children are master observers. Personal work ethic… Paying bills… Charitable giving… Helping others… Generous with tips… Talking positively about others behind their backs… All of these are areas where we build and sustain the kind of character our kids will respond to with respect.

5. Don’t be a pushover.

If you let your kids walk all over you (you don’t follow through on discipline, you give in when they pitch a fit, you let them treat you disrespectfully) why will they respect you?

6. Don’t stoop to their level.

Kids will be kids.  They’ll whine, they’ll have temper tantrums, they’ll pout.  If you’re acting that way too, they’ll likely have little respect for you.  Keep your cool.  Instead of yelling, “Don’t you say that to me, it’s disrespectful!” Calmly respond to their misbehavior.  “You know, we don’t talk to each other like that in our family.  We treat each other with respect.  Go to your room and think about what you said.

© 2011 iMOM. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

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  • Rachel Wise

    Thanks for sharing! Being respectful to your kids is so important! I have been in many situations where a child showed her parents something she learned or something she made and her parents didn’t acknowledge her accomplishment or even respond at all. It is so important to acknowledge your child when he/she shares something with you. If you acknowledge stuff that seems small to you (although big to them), your kids will be more likely to come to you about the big stuff. The stuff you want them to come to you about.

  • Dawn

    We do this, but when we tell him to go to his room he yells no. If we try to make him go in his room it’s a battle to chase him, catch him, drag him to his room and shut the door. He won’t stay on a time out step/chair/couch/floor either.

    • Jodee

      My kids are the same wAy and I’m at a loss on how to make them mind

    • Melissa

      My son was the same ! I bought a huge hour glass and it sits in the time out corner. They are not aloud to touch it unless they are in a time out. It distracts them from resisting the corner and gives them the time they need to cool off.

  • Michiel

    We do all this but no sukses . !!!!!!!!!!! Please Help