How to Raise Respectful Humans
There was something I noticed when I had my kids in preschool that I have had on my mind for a long time. It was the way in which people spoke to their children. Often parents would come into the classroom around the same time as me and I would watch their children light up with excitement to see them. The reaction of the parent would truly be saddening to me: Instead of greeting them with a big hug and smile they would be using a mean and annoyed tone and pretty much just bark at theit children to hurry up and get their stuff. This was not an isolated incident nor simply a matter of people in a rush. The more time I spent around some of these other parents, the more I would see that almost anything their child did annoyed them.
It actually got me thinking about what this could do to a child in the long run: Imagine years of the people you look up to speaking to you as if you were an annoyance. I am sure that would encourage all kinds of insecurities in a young, developing mind. The saddest part is that every child deserves to be cherished and adored by the people who chose to bring them into their lives. I know we all have our moments of feeling overwhelmed, or the times when our kids really are being annoying or bratty and they almost deserve a displeased tone, but I know that even with having a house full of kids, I take a different approach. I do my very best to speak to my kids in a way that lets them know they are important and what they have to say is important to me (even if it’s about Spongebob). If we don’t speak to our children in a respectful way, how can we expect them to speak respectfully to others? If the people who are supposed to love them most in this world speak to them with little to no regard, how would they know the proper way to speak to teachers or even friends? Children learn by example, even if you tell them differently.
So far, I have been very fortunate to have very close relationships with all my children. I feel that some of that closeness stems from the way I speak to them. They can hear that I love them by my tone and the words I use even if we don’t agree.
I hope that more parents will think about the way they speak to their kids. The truth is, I know all parents love their children more than anything, but maybe some parents developed a bad habit (we all have our weak moments when our buttons are pushed & our limits are reached!) and they don’t even realize they are talking to their kids this way. I think something seemingly so small can lead to a lot of insecurities in their children and even a lack of respect toward others. Is there anything you could improve about the way you speak to your children?