There’s a common problem in many homes today. Disrespect. Refusing to consider each other’s opinions, interrupting when someone’s talking, never apologizing for a mistake. Sounds like I’m talking about children, doesn’t it? But, parents, I’m actually referring to the way you behave.
Maybe you’ve seen it – a parent spewing anger or yelling careless words to control a child. You may have even done it yourself. It’s an easy trap to fall into. After all, such methods do create compliance – at least for that moment. But does it really make sense for a parent to demand respect by acting disrespectfully themselves?
Disrespect is an attack on a child’s self-worth. Parents who scream, belittle, interrupt, and lecture endlessly will erode the connection between them and their child. And without connection, parents face a never-ending struggle. As author Josh McDowell says, “Rules without relationship equals rebellion.” Over the long run, disrespect from a parent will lead to less compliance from a child, not more.
Another important consideration is what a parent’s behavior models. As you’ve probably already noticed, kids don’t need help learning how to be disrespectful. It’s part of the fallen nature at work within all of us. But that’s why it’s even more crucial for parents to keep themselves under control. It models for the child how to resolve conflict with another person while treating them with respect.
Listen, I understand how tough it is to raise kids these days. But parenting with respect not only shows a child how deeply we value them, but the need to respect others as well. Today, ask God to help you model a life worth imitating.
For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, at JimDalyBlog.com.