As parents, we often find it a bit challenging to balance our love for our children and our need to handle them appropriately when they get out of line with us.
We brought them into the world, so we care about their feelings and their happiness. Sometimes, we allow them to disrespect us because we don’t want to treat them the way we would treat an outsider who would say or do something to us that we deem offensive.
For this, we often find ourselves in a pickle because we tend to allow the level of disrespect from our children to go too far.
Typical bad behavior that parents face from their disrespectful kids
The level of disrespect that a parent receives from their child depends on the age of their child. If their child is below the age of 5-years-old, the type of disrespect typically comes from a child that loses it publicly because they can’t get what they want in a grocery store.
We have all seen this scenario where a child screams bloody murder at their mother because she refuses to purchase candy or a toy that they want.
We hear the child screaming how much they hate their mother, and we see the poor mom attempting with everything she has to remain her composure at that time. In a scenario like this, the best thing to do is allow the moment to pass for the sake of embarrassment, but to deal with the issue right away when the child is taken home.
Explaining the level of disrespect that they gave and how it made you feel is a great way to ensure that you are teaching your child how to identify unacceptable behavior and to also accept accountability for how their behavior made you feel at that time.
If you are dealing with a teenager who tends to serve disrespectful pie at all times, then the approach has to be somewhat different.
Explaining to a teenager how something made you feel can tend to go into one ear and out the other. In this case, you will have to be a bit more creative. If you have a teen that tends to hang up in your face prior to your conversation ending simply because they disagree with what you are saying, for example, you will have to show a bit of tough love.
Begin by letting your teen know that their actions are both hurtful and disrespectful. They will say that they understand what you are sharing, but in actuality, they only understand for the moment. If they continue their bad behavior and disrespect, you will have to show them what it feels like to be mistreated by someone you both trust and love.
If hanging up in your face is the bad deed they love to serve up, then you will have to let them know that you will no longer talk with them over the phone.
They must communicate with you via in person or by way of text. If they call, you might have to ignore the call and then immediately respond by text to make sure everything is alright. They will ask why you refuse to communicate by phone, and this is when you can remind them that they have no phone etiquette and that their inability to be respectful just can’t be tolerated.
It will all be a bit uncomfortable at first because it will require an adjustment, but it will be necessary if you truly want them to understand that disrespect will not be allowed.
It’s not easy dealing with our children who bring their anger, disappointments, and pain to us by directing their emotions our way. It is hurtful, and it makes us feel as if we are walking doormats.
However, we have the power to teach them how to treat us better, all while teaching them how to be better people in the process. Everything can be taught…even respect.