This picture shows a wildlife worker displaying a healthy respect for the alligator. Without that respect, he gets hurt.

It’s the same in parenting. We demand respect from our kids, but don’t always give it in return. That can hurt our children and us. Family psychologist, John Petersen, PsyD, says our goal should be in modeling respect of each other and our relationships. His suggestions on how to accomplish this are:

  • Strive for cooperation over compliance.
  • Have consistent expectations.
  • Focus on the problem.
  • Follow through.
  • Don’t talk down to children.

1 Peter 2:17 (NIV) starts off by saying, “Show proper respect to everyone.” He didn’t say everyone except the children. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he told him not to let anyone look down on him because of his youth. He also further instructed Timothy to set an example “in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12 (NIV) When parents model respect for their children, not only are they giving them a great gift, they are fostering a level of respect that their children will bring with them into adulthood.

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