Have you ever noticed that we parents tend to confuse “obedience” with “respect”? News bulletin: they’re not the same thing!
When our kids don’t “obey” us, we take it personally and take it as a sign of disrespect. We want them to “mind” us, because we know it’s important for their health and safety. But also, because our egos are tied up in it and when they don’t, we lose confidence.
When we turn our attention from their challenge to how WE feel about it, we’re not helping them learn to manage difficult experiences – we’re making it all about us.
But what if – Just what if…
- What if – our kids are not forgetting to do something out of disrespect, but because they really struggle with working memory?
- What if they’re not yelling “no” or getting snarky because they don’t respect us, but because they’re upset and don’t know how to handle the intense emotion they’re experiencing?
- What if they’re not interrupting to be rude, but because their brains are firing off before they think about their actions?
The truth is, much of our kids’ disobedience has nothing to do with disrespect. Our kids get triggered, or distracted, or scared, and they having difficulty managing those feelings or experiences.
So next time you feel disrespected by your child’s behavior or lack of cooperation, ask yourself, “What if there’s something else going on that could be causing this reaction?”