“Stop interrupting, I’m talking!” “Well, if you didn’t take so long, I wouldn’t have to interrupt.”
“We’re not having spaghetti for dinner again, are we?” “Yes, we are, do you want to do the cooking from now on?”
“Why can’t you sit down for 5 minutes and tell me about your day?” “I’m sick of talking!”
Who is talking here, the kids or the parents? Some days it could just as easily be the parents as the kids.
We all want to have harmonious, respectful relationships in our homes but many family situations are stressful and respect and harmony fly out the window. Small annoyances build up over the course of the day and when the ‘power hour’ rolls around, many of us are too stressed to be pleasant.
How can we resolve the situation? The answer lies with us, the parents. We set the tone for our children. How we relate to stress and to our spouse is paramount and affects everybody in the family.
While we know in our heads that children do as we do and not as we say, sometimes we can’t understand why they are not respectful just because we ask them to be.
As leaders of the family, we need to role model being respectful – to our spouse, to our children and to ourselves. This is how our children are going to learn and how we are able to create a harmonious family atmosphere.
“Please don’t interrupt” “I will try not to interrupt but I have to make dinner now.”
“I wish we could have something besides spaghetti” “I do too; maybe tomorrow we could do something different together.”
“I’d like to hear about your day” “Please give me 15 minutes; I need to collect myself for a bit first.”
For more ideas and tools for a better power hour in your home, see the courses offered by Parenting Network:
Dynamic Marriage/Partnership for Life!: Starts Monday, January 21, 2013 for 4 evenings
Parenting 1 – Raising Great Kids: Starts Tuesday January 29, 2013 for 6 mornings
Parenting 1 – Raising Great Kids: Starts Wednesday January 30, 2013 for 6 evenings
Preteens – It’s a Whole New Ball Game: Starts Tuesday January 29, 2013 for 6 evenings
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How do you encourage a respectful relationship amongst your family? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.