Perhaps you have been at a work place where your boss says something to this effect to the employees: “The firing will continue until morale/production improves.”

It is easy to understand how absurd this statement is. It is a bit harder to understand what’s wrong when a parent screams at their child: “Why don’t you respect me?!”

Research has shown that children, like adults, respect those who respect them. Even when a disciplinary measure is necessary, it can also be done with respect. Saying to the child respectfully, “This is the disciplinary measure that I have to take for your benefit,” or, “This is a consequence of your action.” There is no need to humiliate the child or speak down to them because they have done something wrong.

When you speak to your child with respect consistently, s/he will then learn how to respect others and how to return the respect to the parents. We must always commit to our memories that respect has to be earned — it cannot be demanded. Respect extends itself to all aspects of the child’s life, such as not opening letters addressed to the child or by knocking on the door first before entering their room as well as not eavesdropping on their telephone conversations to friends, etc.

Kids who are well respected have strong self-esteem which helps them to perform well in every sphere of their life. Also, they will understand just what respect looks and feels like, so that they know how to give it.