True Parent Struggles: How To Treat Others (Episode 93)
In this "True Parent Struggles" episode, we dig into the Golden Rule. How do you teach your children how to treat others? What can we impart to them to help them understand their impact?
Your children make an impact the instant they arrive - what impact is your child making in their connection to humanity?
Don't be a Jerk
We have friends who use this philosophy in their marriage. If you want your children to be aware of how to treat others, set the example in your own life. If it's okay for you to be a jerk, then why is it not okay for them?
Be a consistent role model. Keep in mind how you react - you will teach them more than manners - you will teach them how to manage their emotions in a positive - or negative - way.
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We're all jerks occasionally. But it boils down to respect.
Don't make being a jerk your primary focus.
Where are we this week?
Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
We are still in Tennessee, helping family and planning some more family visits on the east coast before we scoot west.
I've recently been on two podcasts that were so much fun! I was on with the RV Living Podcast to discuss "How to RV As a Fulltime Family", and also on the Enneagram in Real Life Podcast discussing DISC vs. Enneagram with personality assessments. If you love podcasts, you'll want to check these out.
Respect - what does this mean?
We believe in treating others with respect. In our home, we created a family vision that is this:
We respect our children. We ask permission. We don't force them to hug, to say they are sorry, or do something completely against their will. Yes, we can crack down as parents and lay some clear boundaries - but they are contributing members in our family, and they have the opportunity to voice their opinions the same as we do.
Empower your children - they have ownership of their bodies
Our children aren't forced to show affection, or to even be friends with someone who treats them poorly. We don't make them tolerate a bully day in and day out. If I won't subject myself to that toxicity in my own life, why would I demand they have to?
Respect should be life-long; not simply an adult privilege.
If you don't like something, voice it in a respectful way. Tell them how you feel respect. Have an open dialogue. Look for life examples on where you have seen respect and where you haven't felt it.
Some additional resources for you
Observe the good and bad
Either way, it's a learning opportunity. Discuss what you observe and experience as a family.
- Was that person being kind or not?
- Was that something you would like to have done to you?
- Is something that you would like to see in your own life?
Children understand a lot more than we often give them credit for. Ask powerful questions. Sometimes just in the question it will open up an "ah-ha" moment for them.
Don't TELL them how to treat people;
ASK them how they would like to be treated.
Give them an opportunity to step up and show - and ask for - respect. Help them explore stepping into another's shoes. Move from their own perception to seeing another perspective.
What story are you writing about this situation? What conclusions do we jump to in our own frustration/fear/pain?
Check out the Brené Brown special on Netflix - we loved it!
If you are frustrated, hurt, upset, angry, sad...you write a story in your head. If others don't know what that story is - if they don't know how you feel, how are they able to make it better - or to learn how to better communicate and connect?
We challenge our children to speak up - to have a voice - and to equip them to educate others on how to treat them.
We don't judge - we look for life lessons, and we turn it to gratitude for what we did do right, what we do have, what we have learned. Flip the switch to the positive. Even if the gratitude is simply that you are grateful they are willing to grow. Set the habit now to look for a growth mindset that seeks the good in life.
Help your children recognize their impact
Children do believe they are the center of the universe - it's all they know! But it's our responsibility to educate our children that they are not the center...and yet, they have an impact!
Help them see when their reactions impact others. Ask them how they would like to be treated that way - lay out the behavior that may drive others away, and help them dissect it and come up with other solutions.
What they do triggers a response - elicits an emotion - from someone else. Their actions create a ripple affect way beyond them. You are raising future leaders and world changers!
Make it a game
Our daughter Ellie is super social. She loves to interact with others, so she started smiling to strangers, just to see what would happen. And, sure enough, they would smile back. So she took it a step further, and when someone looked sad or angry, she would give them a compliment.
And it was incredible to see the affect it would have on them when a child would say "I like your earrings" or something kind about them. They would immediately shift their demeanor! What a wonderful way for Ellie to play with the impact she had on others!
Your Weekly Challenge:
Identify emotions and feelings as you go - let them know what emotions you're feeling, and help them identify them when they are processing as well.
Ask your children what "respect" means. What about "gratitude" or leaving an impact? See what conversation flows just from asking them.
Help your child know how to cope - to know they aren't missing out - but how to thrive with the greatness within them. The uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.
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