Friday, September 14, 2012

No Respect for Mom!

"Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it."
 - Proverbs 22:6

We've been dealing with an interesting issue here in our house - lack of respect for my hard work and the tendency to treat me like a personal servant.  My children seem to think that all I do every day is watch TV and drink coffee while they are at school. I wish!

I've blogged about other things children need to know - they are loved, and they are not the boss. This is just one more topic in my unofficial series about what children need to know. The whole "series" is based on our own process of raising our kids - real things we are facing/have faced that we figure out as we go.

I'm hopeful that others can learn from our process and save themselves some grief.

Children need to have respect and gratitude for their mothers.

Teaching our children respect and gratitude is not a fun task. It involves a lot of work - typically on a mother's part.

But it's important!

Let's take a regularly occurring for-instance in our home.

One of my boys looks at me and says, "I'm thirsty."

Now if this was a guest in my house, I would happily get up and get them something to drink. And I could do that for my son. But what will that teach him? That he can treat people as his personal servants and be entitled to special treatment. Not a great lesson to take into adulthood.

Side note here - getting him his drink without another word is by far the easiest option, and I'm guilty of it more times than I'd like to admit. But it's not the best way to teach him how to be a productive human being with a respect for others.

My other choice when a child says, "I'm thirsty." is to respond, "That's nice."

When he looks at me funny and repeats himself, I give him "the look" - you know, the one that tells our kids they are stepping onto thin ice. Then my son realizes that he has overstepped. He sweetly changes his tune to, "Mommy, could you please get me a drink?" I respond sweetly and get him a drink.

What's my point here? What am I hoping to teach my son?

I want him to know how to treat people. That starts with how he treats me. If he doesn't have respect for me, he won't have respect for others.

We've all seen those children who think the world should revolve around them and their desires. They turn in to the adults we avoid. I don't want my children to have an attitude of entitlement. I want them to respect other people.

But it's a tough job! It's work to deal with his attitude every single time. I'm trusting that it will be worth it.

So the next time your kid looks at you and says, "I'm thirsty" or "Get me a drink", think of me. Think of the battle I'm fighting to teach my children respect and know that you are not alone. Take the time to demand respect from your child. You are worth it!

Linking up with The Coffee Shop.


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