Do your children actually deserve your respect?

Posted June 7, 2016

Seems like a pretty easy answer. But is it? (Deseret Photo)

The question of whether your children deserve your respect should be a no-brainer: Yes, they do.

Dr. Peter Gray said, “Love without respect is dangerous; it can crush the other person, sometimes literally.”

Professors Richard B. Felson and Mary A. Zielinski found that more parental support given to a child resulted in higher self-esteem and confidence. If children are our future, then doesn’t it make sense to raise them to be strong and confident?

In order to receive respect, we must give it. Those who simply expect respect based on their age or knowledge will be quickly disappointed. The Golden rule is an excellent guideline: Treat others as you would want to be treated. Sadly, giving no respect or love to a child will often cause them to do the same to their children; and the cycle continues.

As often said, respect is a two-way street. If parents show love and respect to their children, they will receive both back naturally.

Here are five ways to show respect to your children, according to nationally recognized Parenting Expert Amy McCready:

1. Don’t overwhelm them with too many questions

Too many questions when a child walks through the door can make them feel trapped or untrusted. Instead, try genuinely welcoming them home. A gentler approach will allow trust to begin.

2. Don’t answer every question right away

Allow your children to think through their own questions by asking them what they think the answer should be.

3. Let your children own their own bodies

Don’t fix their hair or spit-shine their face. This is an invasion of their personal space.

4. Let your children speak for themselves

Too often parents want to answer for their child or tell of their accomplishments instead of letting them speak for themselves. Allowing them to do their own talking helps them foster confidence in themselves and the fact that their parents trust them to do their own speaking.

5. Allow them to be ready when they’re ready

This removes the pressure that leads to power struggles between parents and children. Whether it's potty training, speaking in public or participating in extra-curricular activities, don't add stress by forcing them to give it a go simply because you are ready. Give them the power to decide that they are ready; and be patient.

By following these suggestions, you can provide a safer, brighter and happier future for your children.

Kent Larson is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He loves family, writing, reading, music and movies. He's been teaching English forever and still loves it. Find him at


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