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How to Get Your Child to Respect You Enough to Listen to You.

Updated on September 2, 2019

When affection grows into rebellion.

For some parents confrontation with their child is a battleground.

Some children are strong-willed. Some are spoiled. Others have been hurt. While others are just flat out defiant. Whatever the case the fact remains that communication can be improved no matter the circumstances.

For some parents confronting their children about their behavior is a harrowing ordeal. So harrowing that the parent would rather ignore the indiscretion rather than face their child.

Sadly all parents must face their children someday. Sooner or later they will have to confront their child's behavior. Sooner is much better. In this article are some great tips to help confrontation with your child go more smoothly. If you apply them, they work.

Remember all children are not cut from the same mold.

It's good to know who you are dealing with. Think of yourself as a mediator. Instead of trying to find a peaceful resolution between two opposing parties. You are trying to find a peaceful resolution between two opposing ideas.

An effective mediator is familiar with both parties, their strengths, and weaknesses, their background and their personality traits. In order to effectively communicate one must be able to convey ones ideal on the other parties level. Children tend to respect those who make an effort to engage with them with an undertone of understanding.

In the case of parents versus children keep in mind how you struggled with your parent's demands or at the very least did not get the point of the discussion. Take a moment to relive a conversation when you felt frustrated with your parents or teachers. Did you feel like they weren't listening? Perhaps you felt like they were not trying to understand.

Keep in mind that your child is not you. They may not share your temperament or their personality may be a complete opposite of yours. Learn to share your concerns and position in a manner that is effectively geared toward the individual so the child does not perceive you as combative or demeaning.

How To Gain a Childs' Respect.

Respect is earned. I'll say it again. Respect is not an entitlement, it is earned. With that in mind, all of us should show some form of respect toward those in charge. Employers, the police and others in a position of power should command your respect - as disrespecting them could cost you your lively hood or freedom.

When adults demonstrate a rebellious nature toward school authorities or employers such as calling them stupid, they are passing on the same mentality to their children who will do the same to them when the situation calls for it. Even if the adult is right about the school or the boss. How the adult handles it can greatly determine how the child will react when a parent has to communicate an unpleasant directive toward the child.

Say what you mean. Don't make promises you have no intention of keeping. If you say yes, then keep your promise. If you say no, then keep your word. To often parents make empty threats and then get angry when their children scoff at them. Trust and respect go hand in hand. If all you do is jest don't get mad when your children don't take you seriously.

To ask is to communicate.

Ask Questions

When engaging in a conversation with your child... ask questions. Before you try to share your input take a minute to show your child that you hear them and are attempting to try to understand their point of view.

By asking questions you may find a better approach to getting your point across, or you may discover that their view is closer to yours than you thought. You may even be surprised to learn that their point is valid and worthy of credit.

Asking questions teaches your children how to not only be a great communicator but a great listener. They learn to be fair and objective and sense that they are being dealt with fairly, allowing themselves to be more vulnerable to a correction.

If you have no intention of sticking with the program don't even start. You will do more harm than good.

A Parent's Worst Mistake. Wanting to Fix it Now.

I've tried but it's not working. No. It's not working because you haven't tried long enough.

There is no quick fix. If you have been too soft, wishy-washy, or you've simply given in to a strong-willed child, it will take longer. The upside is it will take less time to back up and re-group and re-establish a better relationship with your child than it will to ignore bad behavior. A lifetime with a rotten kid who grows into a rotten adult is hell.

Consistency is everything. Don't even start if you have no intention of seeing it through. A half-hearted attempt will only damage your reputation with your child, you will do more harm than good.

Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

It's not easy gaining your children's trust and respect if in the past you may have done things to damage it. But trust and respect can be established between child and parent when love is present.

Don't demand respect. Teach your children how to respect you and make yourself worthy of respect and then expect to be respected.

Never forget that you are talking to someone who is not you. They do not share your viewpoints or maturity. Change takes a long time and should be addressed in small portions.

Feel free to ask questions. Your child wants to know they are being heard and they will learn how to hear others better. So stick with it even if it feels like it's not working because it is.

Give it time. Don't expect your child to change toward you overnight cause it's not going to happen. Stick with it because the respect and honor they will eventually give is well worth the effort.


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    • Tory Peta profile image

      Tery Peta 

      9 months ago from Bulgaria

      Proper raising is so important for children because what they learn from their parents from the early stages of life determines how they develop and how they function as adults. At the same time, no parent is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, so this advice is very helpful for preventing from doing some of these parenting mistakes.

    • Bridgette Crowe profile imageAUTHOR

      Bridgette Crowe 

      9 months ago from Morrow

      Thanks so much Lorna. I agree. All we can do is our best. It's a tough job. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      9 months ago

      Lots of really valid points in this insightful article Bridgette. I believe that children need structure in their lives, however, it's how you approach your child and the conversations you have with them that will make all the difference. Allowing for change as they grow and giving them the opportunity to view their own point of view will not only show respect but will give them confidence. It's a difficult job and we don't always get it right, however, keeping those avenues of conversation open is crucial, and always let them know they are loved. Great article.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      9 months ago from UK

      You give an interesting insight into parenting strategy. I was also told to choose my battles. Instead of fighting on all fronts, decide what can pass and what you need to hold firm on. Each generation makes its own parenting mistakes, just different ones to the previous generation. It is a very demanding role, but also very rewarding.


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