A house full of boys for this five foot mom means respect HAS to be taught at an early age or I will quickly be outsized. Teaching respect is not as easy as I thought it should be. I am learning that respect comes from those that are respected.
Steps for Growing Respect in the Home
1. Talk softly. Yelling just makes for a noisy home. Speaking with a soft voice means that people HAVE to pay attention to hear what you say. It also requires close proximity for hearing to occur (which does mean getting up and walking to the room where the others are located).
2. Have rules and follow them. It always annoyed me when the teacher would chew gum or eat in class and tell us that when WE were the teachers then we could do the same. I am trying to follow those guidelines that I set for my children – which means that the electronics go off an hour before bed AND only a limited amount of entertainment electronics each day.
3. Listen to be heard. Giving respect to the kids (and to my husband) means that I actually hear what they are saying and that I accept that their feelings and emotions are legitimate. Even with the kids I do not always have to be right. There are times when it is best to just let it go (as long as no bodily harm can come from the issue).
4. Do NOT make threats. The rules and consequences have to be followed through CONSISTENTLY. Empty threats will simply mean that the kids will never expect a punishment so they will likely never listen to what you say.
Giving respect to the people around us is not always easy but it is necessary to give respect if you want to receive it. Starting early with children and following through is the best way to build respect in the home that will follow your children through out their lives.