Monday, August 16, 2010
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Kids
As parents, it is our duty to instill respect for authority within our children. Teaching your children to respect your God-given authority comes through many teaching moments. But the one particular way I want to talk about here is this: respecting your kids. How can we expect out kids to respect us, when we don't respect them? It simply means applying the Golden Rule to the area of respect. In other words, respect your children the way you want to be respected. It's easy to disrespect our kids because they are small in frame and in understanding. We think that it's okay to talk shortly and rudely with them, or to pull them up by a short chain in front of other kids or parents. Here is one example of how NOT to respect your kids. Say your son in playing over at the neighbor's house. You told him to be home at 4:00. 4:00 comes and goes, and you have to march on down to the neighbor's house in order to retrieve your son. You knock on the door, and the mother answers the door. You see your son playing legos on the floor with his playmate. You start letting him have it right in front of his friend and his friend's mom, much to the embarrassment of everyone involved. Throwing your authority around in this manner actually produces the opposite effect on our children then the one we were trying to achieve. Disrespecting our kids in this manner does not teach them to respect us more, it teaches them to disrespect us more. What this mother should have done after knocking on the door of the neighbor's house was to thank the mother for having her son over to play, have little John thank his friend and the mother, taken him home, and immediately have a talk with him to figure out why he was late and then deal with it accordingly...in the privacy of their home. Though the child may have acted in the wrong, you can still deal with him in a respectful manner. Respecting our kids spills over into how we talk to and with them, how we deal with their sin, confessing your sin to them when you have sinned against them, not talking about their faults in front of others (would you like it if your kids or husband told all your faults in front of others?), not comparing them to other kids, not calling them stupid, not treating their desires and interests as stupid and beneath you, etc. So put your self in your kids small shoes, and ask yourself, "If I was in their situation, how would I want to be treated?" Respecting your kids will breed respect for yourself as their parent. And if you have their respect, you will be able to teach them all kinds of other things about God, His word, His commands, and more with ease!