5 Critical Tips to Raising Respectful Kids

BY: - 15 Oct '15 | Parenting

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It never fails. Whenever I’m out and about with my kids, people are always commenting about how well-behaved and loving they are. While I like to think this is the norm, I’m told time and time again that it’s not. Recently, I shared a Periscope broadcast on 10 easy tips for moms to recharge, reconnect and FLY (First Love Yourself). Tips eight and nine were all about setting boundaries for yourself; first with your extended family and friends, and then with your children.

Not only will setting boundaries create an opportunity to teach your children respect. But it will also allow you to create some much needed “me time” for yourself.

You can’t possibly find time for self-care if you don’t learn how to set boundaries in every area of your life.

When you sit down for dinner, do you prefer a full, fresh, hot plate of food, or a cold plate with leftovers? When we don’t make the choice to take care of ourselves, we’re making the choice to serve our families the leftovers.

When I went through postpartum depression, I didn’t understand what it meant to make myself a priority. I didn’t understand that not allowing myself to recharge and regroup meant that I was taking all of my frustrations out on my family. Self-care is definitely not selfish; it is necessary and it is critical to our responsibilities as moms.

So here are 5 critical tips to setting boundaries that help you raise respectable kids, so that you can then make time and room for your own self-care.

1. Communicate with them on their level

My kids are four, six, and eight. I can’t explain things to my eight year-old in the same way I do with my four year-old. And, even with the six year-old, I have to tweak things for her level of comprehension.

Related: 5 Things you should never do in front of your kids, especially if you don’t want them doing it

I have to use shorter sentences and more story telling with the younger ones. But my son can understand longer sentences and less stories. In order for children to understand, you have to speak to them in their language.

2. Consistency and Repetition is key

Don’t think that just because you say something once or sometimes even four times that it will stick. New habits take time to form. And, with kids especially, it takes them longer to adjust to new schedules or new routines. Don’t get frustrated when it’s not smooth sailing. Keep repeating it until they get it, and repeating means being consistent.

3. Teach them manners

No, it’s not okay for your kids to walk into your room or bathroom unannounced. It’s not okay that they interrupt you mid-sentence with their “emergency”. It’s never too early to start teaching them simple manners because it’s our responsibility to prepare them for adulthood and the real world.

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My kids know, when the door is closed, they are supposed to knock first AND wait for permission to enter. They also know when grown-ups are talking, and they need to speak, they need to say “excuse me”. Nothing pains me more than to see a child being disrespectful, because those disrespectful children will grow up to be disrespectful adults.

4. No is a complete sentence

This is true even for our children. No doesn’t mean yes. No doesn’t mean, we’ll see. No doesn’t mean ask me again in five minutes. No doesn’t mean later. No means no. So when we use it, it’s our responsibility to stick with it so that they understand that we actually mean what we say.

If your kids know that you’ll change your mind to a yes if they just keep asking, then they will do it. Stand firm in your decisions. But, when the situation calls for it, you can explain to them your reasoning.

Related: Are you raising helpless kids when you help them with too much?

We all have responsibilities, but we have to make it a choice that we want to “feel good without feeling guilty.” Please understand that learning to love yourself more does not mean you love your kids any less. Watch the replay below to see why mom guilt is a myth and we all need to do like Elsa, and let it go (sorry, had to go there, but it’s true).

5. Punish with love

Growing up, I don’t recall my parents ever apologizing to us for anything (wrong or otherwise). My husband and I are quick to apologize to our kids when we make mistakes or disrespect them. Yes, there is a such thing as disrespecting your child.

Even when they are in the wrong, and get in trouble rightfully so, we explain to them why what they did was wrong. When they argue with each other, we have them redirect their words with love. We explain to them the importance of always protecting one another, and treating each other with respect whether we’re there or not.

We also try to reinforce the importance of personal space, because…well, boundaries. They may not fully understand now, but our prayer is that they are building an unbreakable bond that will last a lifetime.

BMWK: How do you go about setting boundaries for your kids and creating time for yourself?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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8 Signs You’re Missing Your Kid’s Childhood and 10 Ways to Fix It

BY: - 20 Oct '15 | Parenting

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By: Lia Miller

So we live in the digital age and more relationships than ever are started in the virtual medium. Nothing necessarily wrong there; that’s life today.  However, there is one area in life where a virtual relationship won’t work and where, in fact, living virtually is actually the biggest impediment to a real relationship – the one with your children.

Technology is a tool that you can use to engage and interact with your child, but it isn’t a substitute. We are all too quick to turn on the TV, park the kids in front of a video game or IPad/tablet or other gaming system, while we remain equally engrossed in our cell phones, computers, laptops, kindles, etc.

Related: Feeling unplugged? 3 Ways to connect with your child in the digital age.

Where is the real connection, that in person face-to-face bond?  Where is the interaction? Where is the love?  Our children grow up so quickly and it is a fact that their childhood will end too soon.  So don’t squander their youth or you will regret it and your life-long relationship with your children will be impaired as a result.

You might say this doesn’t apply to your situation and that you are fully engaged with your child.  I hope you’re right.  But here are some scenarios that, if you find yourself relating to them, you’re definitely missing it:

  1. You go to your child’s sporting event and look up periodically from your phone thinking she won’t notice that you are not paying attention to her game.
  2. You keep your phone turned on at all times of the day and allow the rings, beeps, and buzzes to interrupt your child mid-sentence; always letting the caller take priority.
  3. You check your phone first thing in the morning … even before you kiss, hug, or greet the people in your family.
  4. You neglect daily rituals like tucking your child into bed or nightly dinner conversation because you are too busy with your online activity.
  5. You don’t look up from your phone when your child speaks to you or just reply with an “uh huh” to give the impression you were listening.
  6. You get frustrated with your child when he “bothers” you while you are interacting with an electronic device.
  7. You sigh or roll your eyes when your child asks you to push her on the swing because you are busy on your phone.
  8. You use drive time to call other people instead of talking to your kids.

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If you are engaging in some or all of these activities, you are missing out on your child’s childhood because you aren’t present with them, you aren’t paying attention, and you are prioritizing the wrong things.

Related: “Dear Daughter,” 7 big promises every man should make to his children

If you continue to engage in these types of activities, it is a recipe for disaster.  It is a fact that we live in the 21st century, a fact that we are globally wired at all times, a fact that your job is important and of course you must be responsive to the office.

However, despite all those factors, at some point you must realize that you don’t have to sacrifice your child’s childhood, your sanity, or your life.

There is a better way.  How?

  1. Be intentional with your children.
  2. Meaningfully connect with them.
  3. Make them the priority when you spend time with them and be fully present.
  4. Set distraction-free daily routines with them that are just for you and them and stick to them, i.e. reading before bedtime, or playing board games or puzzles during a family game night.
  5. Look into their eyes when they speak to you and really listen to them.
  6. Love on them, give them affection.  Give a hug, a kiss, a pat on the head, hold hands, and/or a rub on the back.  Loving affection speaks volumes to them at any age.
  7. Let them laugh at and with you.
  8. Tell them you love them for who they are; this is especially important as they become older and start finding themselves.
  9. Ride bikes with them, throw a ball with them in the yard or park, and actively play with them.
  10. Be grateful for them every day remembering they are a gift.

These are only a few examples of ways you can meaningfully and intentionally connect with your children and there are a zillion more.  However, the real “key to the kingdom” is to remove the electronic devices/distractions when interacting with your children.

Bottom line:  Make the time with your kids count, especially since there is precious little of it, and stay focused on what matters most, them!

BMWK, are you focusing on your kids or your electronics?

Lia Miller, known to the blogging world as Lia World Traveler, is the quintessential every-woman, a loving wife and mother, daughter, sister, friend, author/singer/song-writer, movie and book buff, DIY loc’d naturalista, food lover, sports and fitness enthusiast, news junkie, traveling fool, diplomat, diversity/social inclusion advocate, and life-time learner. In both her work and private lives, Lia has seen a lot and done a lot and through her writing; she shares her adventures and insights with you at Life As I See It.

About the author

Lia Miller wrote 21 articles on this blog.

Lia Miller is an every woman, in that she does and is interested in a lot of things. Lia is a wife and mother, ambitious/career focused individual, writer and award winning blogger, do-it-yourself loc’d naturalista, foodie, avid reader, movie buff, sports enthusiast, passionate about music, dance, and the arts, news junkie, advocate for the underdog/under-represented, with an incurable bug for traveling and exploring the world. Lia is also a clinical social worker with a concentration in children, relationships, and family dynamics. Lia’s focus is to find and share how to get the best out of life by living fully, loving hard, and always learning.

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