“The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.”
-William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British author
Hal’ Take: When kids are disrespectful, rude, or disobedient, we tend to lose our cool. We think that simply because we say something, our kids should do it and we get pretty steamed if they don’t. Here’s where a slight change in thinking can make things so much better.
When you get angry at your child for their behavior, you are falling into the trap of seeking power rather than liberty. You are taking a child’s poor judgment or mistake personally as an affront to your authority as a parent. In reality, it is simply a chance to teach them how the world works through natural consequences. Pursue liberty instead, both theirs and yours as you learn to lead your child without the haze of hurt feelings clouding your judgment.
-Hal Runkel, Author of Screamfree Parenting
The Confident Mom’s Take: Isn’t this the truth, or is just me? It took me awhile to realize that I wasn’t responsible for my children’s comments and disrespect and that I didn’t have to take them personally. Does it still somewhat frustrate me and hurt my heart when my kids say something disrespectful to me – YES! But the difference is they know what will happen when they CHOOSE to do that, and I have a response to their disrespect rather than raising my voice and “disrespecting” them as retaliation. All of this comes to us as a chance to teach lessons and walk our children through their choices. When I share my feelings with them on how I feel after they have chosen poorly on words, it is a chance for them to realize what their actions truly do. Same for me, when I lose it and yell (yes, I still do that at times, even though I am practicing ScreamFree!) they can share with me how it makes them feel. Communication at it’s best if you ask me.
How do you typically respond to disrespect from your child? Are you able to share with them how it makes you feel in a calm way and stay connected to them? What would help you make that transition?