1. Fight disrespect with respect. It is essential that we model the behavior we are looking for, rather than mirror the behavior we’re seeing. The teens told me parents had zero credibility to address their kids’ attitudes when they are doing so with an attitude of their own! Yes, we certainly have every right to demand compliance regardless of how we ourselves behave — but what we most want is a heart shift. For the kid to recognize that their disrespect is hurtful and wrong, and there is another way. Personal confession: I still do this wrong all too often, but what the research has shown me is that if I can pause to get a grip on my own temper, I am far more likely to address my kids’ unhealthy words and actions in a healthy way.
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