Give Up Being Liked by Your Child for Being Respected

One aspect of StormProof Parenting™ is the ability to give up being liked by your kids in exchange for being respected. This quality means the ability to be immune to the criticism of others and avoid trying to be you kid’s best friend. Respect is given when someone views another person in high esteem and honor. When we respect someone, we place worth and value on them, admiring and appreciating who they are and what they have done. However, respect is not something we automatically get from our kids. It must be earned over time.

To be frank, if your children like you from the time they are born until they turn eighteen, then you didn’t stand for much. In addition, you didn’t instill much discipline in their lives. The fact is, when you set rules, establish routines, and consistently enforce consequences, your kids are not always going to like you. Children do not rejoice when they do not get what they want. They don’t like it when someone stands in the way of immediately gratifying their desires. But, don’t change your decision to try and make them happy. Their joy will only be temporary.

Your child will not grow up to say things like, “Thanks, Mom for letting me quit piano when I was eight because I was tired of practicing. You’re the best!” or “Thanks, Dad, turning a blind eye to my drinking when I was a teenager so I could have all that fun.” Instead, what they say is, “What were your thinking, Mom? Why did you let me quit? Why did you let me behave that way, Dad?” Parenting your kids to like you always leads to a lack of respect and deep regrets later in life.

The best way to earn your kids to respect is to be consistent. Consistency creates credibility and trust in your relationship, out of which grows respect. Your children know the boundaries that are in place, which makes them feel safe, secure, and confident. Once you establish trust and credibility, then obedience takes root.

Earning your child’s respect is like making a financial investment in buying land for years with no sign of any profit. Then, over time, it eventually begins to pay great dividends. But, getting your child to like you has the opposite effect. It pays up-front, but yields great loss in the end. If you do everything your kids want and let them have everything they want, you might think they will love and respect you. However, the opposite is true. They will like you while you’re giving them everything they want. But, their feelings will be shallow, short-lived, and absent of respect.

Imagine a kid living in Beverly Hills. His parents give him a BMW, and he wrecks it. Then, they buy him a Mercedes, and eventually he wrecks it as well. No consequences are given for his reckless behavior, and he is allowed to go out and party all weekend long during his high school years. His parents don’t really care where he is, who he is with, or what hour he gets home. By the time he reaches the age of twenty, he will have no respect for them and no relationship with them. One the other hand, a kid whose parents establish and enforce rules, make him work to buy his own car, and require him to be home by curfew will have a good relationship with he reaches age twenty. Through consistent discipline, love has been shown and a bond of respect has been forged – a bond that will last a lifetime.

Contrary to popular belief, children associate consistently-enforced boundaries with love. Your willingness to do what is right for your kids, and not what is easy, will earn their respect over time. Choose to invest in consistent, loving discipline in your child’s life today, and you will help storm-proof him or her for the years ahead.

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