As a parent of four boys with nearly 20 years parenting experience I’d like to share something. Teaching our children to value themselves and respect one another is so important and yet so difficult.
Siblings fight, bicker and wrestle, whichever gender, I was raised with two of my brothers and we had little respect for one another, we fought like wolves, violently sometimes but we love each other deeply as adults. My husband and his sister fought until they often drew blood, little respect going on there too.
So in our home we have tried develop an environment where violence towards your siblings is completely unacceptable. We are don’t smack our children though I confess to threatening to do so sometimes.
We want them to respect each others space, knock before entering a room even if you know the only person in there is your little brother, doesn’t he deserve privacy too?
We don’t allow the excuse “we were only playing” to cover bullying or disrespect.
No name calling or taunting, words can hurt deeply and for longer then a punch.
A joke is not a joke if one of you is the butt of it, thats just bullying.
Never put yourself down, no one is stupid or ugly.
This is a daily struggle to enforce, please dont think that our home is a utopia of positive thinking with well adjusted level headed kids and calm insightful parents, haha!!
However we’re trying.
How do you teach your children to respect themselves and others?
Having listed these rules I realise we do indeed follow them, not with 100% success but we’re trying.