As individuals : We all want to feel Loved, Understood and Respected
Our kids are going through so much at the minute, so much more than we ever experienced. When we were their age, we didn’t have knife crime on the streets, we didn’t have gun violence in schools; there’s so much more to negotiate on an emotional level.
Just because they are younger than you, just because they are in your charge, just because they are your child, they still deserve your respect.
If you are not receiving respect from them, then remember that your child is a sponge and they learn their behaviour from you. You are their role model. They copy what they see. If you start by respecting them – then they too shall mirror this.
Go back to what’s important.
Do you remember your newborn little miracles? Your little bundles of joy with 10 fingers and 10 toes; peering at them when they were asleep saying please, please, please don’t grow up. They’re still the same person, they’re still that same child who needs your love and nurturing. As they get older and try and find their way in the world, and try and find where they fit in, they need your respect and the reassurance that they are who they are – and it’s all right.
Respect means I believe in you.
Respect means I trust that you’re being the best person that you can be and I just love that about you.
Respect doesn’t mean you doubt their intentions.
Lack of respect creates breakdowns, creates ambiguity, creates friction, creates isolation, creates all those, that conflict, that feeling of lost connection. We need to demonstrate to our children, the behaviour that we want to see in them. So that might include trust, that might include patience and openness and respect.
Respect yourself too.
A great way to defuse bad behaviour is respect yourself enough too. It’s important to acknowledge who you are and that you do not have to put up with bad behaviour – even if it is from your offspring. Respecting yourself creates boundaries too.
Respect is holding the space for one another. Respect says :
“Your ideas matter just as much as mine do.”
“Your time matters as much as mine does.”
“We are equal.”
When our kids are little, we tend to manage them. We tend to be very autocratic because we can get away with it. But all of a sudden – your child is growing up and they hold up the BS card. Autocracy stops working. The problem is that they might still respect you as a parent but they do not respect your authority any longer.
The are now carving out their own space in the world. The are trying to make sense of it all and they are starting to question what’s going on around them. They question : Rules, Authority and the Opinions of others.
They see that they are starting to have choices.
Each of us is only here for such a short period of time. We are just guardians of our children and we are here to watch their journey and to walk beside them but we are not here to control them and pull their strings
We have equal status on this planet Earth of ours. I believe that when you start reflecting and mirroring this to your children and saying “I value what you’ve got to say” … that’s when you start seeing a shift in your relationship.
Ask their opinion.
Their opinions matter just as much as yours – and this creates that feeling of being heard, of being valued creates and of being understood. It builds, not only togetherness, but also purpose – which is terribly important to teenagers. That feeling that they are relevant and that they matter.
Different opinions within family or within community are healthy. It broadens our horizons and illustrates we are being respectful of other people’s points of view. They have to know that it’s all right that we are different, same but different. They’re part of a school but everyone is different and yet they’ve got that solidarity. They’re part of a group, they’re part of a team. It is wonderful to give someone that sense of belonging.
It’s important to make mistakes.
We tend to sort things out for our kids and the older we get the less I advise it. When we are going through stuff, we didn’t learn from our successes, we learn from our mistakes. We want to build resilience for our kids. We want to make them more emotionally intelligent and more capable of dealing with the next curveball that life throws at us. Sometimes, it’s just acknowledging what’s going on and being there and embracing the silences. You don’t have to sort everything out.
Sometimes you can’t make anything better but just your very presence is the start.
Be kind to yourself too.
We are all learning this parenting game. No one taught us how to do it. At school, we weren’t taught how to deal with relationships. We weren’t taught how to communicate with our families, with our colleagues. We weren’t taught to recognize our emotions. We are learning all this and your child is learning it too.
We need to be open to understand our children better as they grow into young adults. Learning that we’re not going to get it right all the time. So long as your actions come with the best of intentions, then mistakes are inevitable for you too. But if your child knows you are there to love and support them, and that you are coming from a place of love and compassion, your child will get that your relationship can grow..
When your child is feeling Loved, Understood, and Respected – You’ll be doing all right.
Much Love 💕