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Respect Your Children and Yourself

It's a Good Idea!

The fact that children are little, seemingly-irrational, and inexperienced shouldn't be held against them. Children should be held against you—gently.

It's a Good Idea!

Respect your child's challenges! Children test you to see how far they can go. It's not that they want total freedom, rather they want to know what the limits are. Setting reasonable (and respectful) limits for them will enable them to set their own limits as they grow older.

Element number two of the Twelve Disciplinary Elements is to respect your children and yourself. Positive discipline is based on mutual respect. Assume that children are basically reasonable human beings who want to do well, and treat them with the respect they deserve. Kids learn by imitation, and just demonstrating respectful behavior will take you a long way. The basic rule is: You get what you give. Sound familiar? Some call it the Golden Rule, and some call it karma, but the idea is the same: Treat your child as you would like to be treated and your child (eventually and usually) will treat you that way back.

How do you show respect for your child? By discussing her feelings and beliefs and acknowledging that they are valid—for her. By helping her improve her critical thinking skills and empathy by discussing other people's perspectives on the same issues. By respecting who she is, and the integrity of her body. By starting with the child, and moving forward from there. You don't show respect when you agree with everything she says or by letting her make all her own choices or decisions. Look, kids don't always know what's right for them. They're kids, after all.

You show respect for your child when you:

  • respect her feelings;
  • respect her opinions;
  • respect her privacy;
  • respect her temperament; and
  • respect her body and personal space.
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Well-Behaved Child © 1999 by Ericka Lutz. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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