When it comes to parenting, we all have goals, and the way you treat your kids should be something to consider. All people want to be treated with respect, and children are no exception. Even when you are in the middle of a preschooler's meltdown or a teenager's emotional argument, there is an opportunity to practice respectful parenting. This approach takes time and patience to master, but the benefits can last a lifetime. 

The good news is, if you put in the effort to make respectful parenting a goal, you will see qualities such as independence and trust emerge in your relationship with your child. You will also notice a more open dialog about feelings when respect is at the center of your parent-child interactions. 

Before you catch yourself letting emotions run high and making snap decisions, consider these nine ways to parent with respect and see how it helps the whole family feel more in control and heard. 

1. Listen the Active Way

Active listening is a skill that requires practice, but implementing this skill during conversations with your child can be extremely beneficial. Research shows that active listening builds trust and support between parent and child, and allows for more honest conversations. 

If you can't actively listen right in that moment, try saying, "This seems really important, so I want to wait until you can have my undivided attention. Let's have this conversation later." 

2. Set the Right Example

Modeling respect in your daily life will show your children that it is a quality you value and take seriously. They will pick up on your tone and have a great example of how to react in a respectful way. 

3. Discipline in Private

Sometimes you have to yell to keep your child from hurting themselves or someone else, but when you find yourself dealing with everyday situations, try to keep the discipline between you and your child. Reprimanding them in front of others can cause children to feel shame and humiliation, and miss the opportunity to learn from their mistake. 

4. Validate Their Feelings

We all want to be understood and feel less alone. When you notice your child struggling, look for the underlying cause. Are they frustrated, tired, or sad? Point that out. Say, "This seems to be really frustrating for you," and see where the conversation goes.

5. Be Compassionate

It can be a real challenge to keep a compassionate perspective when your child has gone into full-on meltdown mode. But parents can sometimes forget how hard it is to be young. Try to put yourself in your child's shoes. Getting a glimpse into their feelings can help to raise your compassion about their actions. 

6. Respect Their Privacy

There comes a time in every child's life when they start to break away and become more autonomous. Claiming independence is a normal part of childhood, and one that parents should see as developmentally appropriate. Giving them the space they need to grow will only help them to trust you more. 

7. Have Boundaries

Setting limits is a great way to teach children about respecting the space of others. Whether it's a rule — like not knocking on a neighbor's door until 10 a.m., or having a drawer in your room that they are not allowed access to — boundaries are a healthy way for children to understand their social limits.

8. Use Thoughtful Corrections

Strong feelings can lead to harsh words, and getting caught up in the moment can cause you to say things you don't mean. But using a respectful approach to difficult behavior leads to a more thoughtful way of dealing with arguments and tantrums. 

9. Allow Time For Processing

Everyone can be impatient — adults and children alike — but sometimes parents can be demanding, wanting to know why their chidlren are misbehaving in the moment. Younger kids may not understand why they do the things they do, while older kids may be so emotional that they can't separate their feelings from their actions. Allowing time to process the feelings can help both parents and children to better understand what happened and how to move forward. 

Do you use this parenting style?

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