The part of parenting that I know is necessary, but that I definitely don’t enjoy, is discipline. Some days I feel like the majority of my interactions with my kids involve breaking up fights and telling them to “knock it off” or “go stand in the corner” (our version of time-out).
Most days, though, my kids play well together and we all have a lot of fun. I really don’t have a lot to complain about when it comes to my kids’ behavior.
Lately I’ve been trying something new. When I’m talking about my kids to other adults and I know they’re listening, I’m always very complimentary about certain skills.
Like I’ll say, “TT is really great at helping me with his sisters. He’s getting to be such a big boy.”
Or “Peach always listens to me. She’s a good listener.” Then later on, TT will ask if he’s a good listener too. And I get to say, “Yes, of course you’re a good listener too. I love it when you listen.”
It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more I talk about them having good behavior, the more I see it in action. Try it out, and let me know if it works.
We talk a lot about respect in our house. Respect for all adults, for each other, for God, even for their toys (I don’t want them turning into Sid from Toy Story). Every time I treat them respect, look them in the eye and talk to them, I see it coming out of them as well. I must be an example of respect and patience for my children.
Do you have any other tips on getting kids to be respectful?