Kids (4-12)

6 Ways to Get Your Kids to Respect You

teaching kids respect

Our family car got totaled last week. Thankfully, no one was injured, and now we’re on the “find a new car” journey. Part of that exercise is deciding what options we want in a car, and if those extras are worth the extra cost. Now, if we could only check off the options we wanted our children to come equipped with! We’d pull up a list of “kid features” and check off what we wanted: Good sleeper? Check. Good manners? Sure. Respectful? Absolutely.

Well, I don’t have to tell you that it’s not that easy. Children do not come pre-equipped with respect, it’s not standard equipment, and teaching respect is a process. But, just like the best features in a new car, respect is the basis for kindness, empathy, and selflessness. That’s why trying these 6 ways to get your kids to respect you is totally worth it.

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. If we’re sarcastic and dismissive to them, they’ll try out that kind of behavior soon enough. That’s not to say we’re on the same level as our children, but even the “boss” can treat others with respect.

2. Respect your husband.

This is huge. The relationship between parents sets the tone for the greater family dynamic. {Tweet This} 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. How do those ideas sound for getting your kids to respect you?

Related Articles


  • 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