Urban Dictionary defines RESPECT as “Being treated or treating others in a dignified manner.”
This definition does not conjure up images of my childhood. Like many, I grew up in a home filled with name calling, fighting, blaming and other forms of disrespect. Out of boredom, I’d push my brother’s buttons just to see what kind of reaction I’d get.
Yes, this was typical sibling behavior. But it wasn’t behavior I wanted to repeat in my own home. So when I became a parent, I made it a priority to cultivate a home filled with respect.
Thirteen years later, I’m happy to report that it’s working. Here are three things that have helped along the way.
Simple Ways to Cultivate a Respectful Home (and World)
- Model the respect you would like to see. Kids learn how to speak and act from their caregivers, so I try my best to model respect in my interactions with my family, friends and strangers.
- Eliminate name calling. Name calling is not allowed in our home. Instead we find other ways to express ourselves when we are upset or angry.
- Avoid blaming and labels. Statements like “It’s all your fault” or “You’re so lazy” make people defensive and resentful. And they don’t solve the issue. “I statements,” like “I feel frustrated because I’m doing chores alone. I’d like some help,” are a more effective and respectful way to communicate.
Cultivating a home filled with respect does not mean there is no conflict or hurt feelings. We are still human. But when things are hard, we try to make sure everyone feels heard and nobody is thrown under the bus. My hope is that this respect extends beyond the walls of our home and into the world as well.
PASS IT ON. Jessica Speer’s weekly BLOG focuses on helping kids and families thrive. Posts offer simple ideas to help kids and families connect & foster healthy relationships. If you know someone who might appreciate this content, please pass it on! Click here to follow blog via email or Facebook.