When you want to teach something, you need to demonstrate it. Want to know how to teach a teenager respect? One of the best ways to do it is to show respect to your teen.
In this episode we discuss the ways we may be disrespecting our teens without knowing it, as well as the importance of being careful to model respect TO them — not just expect it FROM them.
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This episode is sponsored by CTC Math.
Are you looking for a new math curriculum? CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and the Old Schoolhouse Crew Review, the lessons are short and concise, to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way.
The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a test. Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way and in only a few minutes at a time. Using a multisensory approach, having the combination of effective graphics and animation synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment. This three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results, and ones who were doing okay before are now doing brilliantly.
Visit ctcmath.com today to start your free trial.
Episode 84: Modeling Respect to Your Teen
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Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School — has a full chapter on the relationship with your teen
Ann Karako: Hi, this is Ann Karako. You’re listening to Episode 84 of the It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School podcast.
Ann: Welcome to another episode of It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School, the podcast for real people so that you can confidently, competently, and yes, even contentedly provide the high school education that is best for your teen and your family. I’m your host Ann Karako from notthathardtohomeschool.com.
Ann: Hello everyone and welcome. Today, we’re going to talk about a topic that I don’t think any of us has not had experience with, except we’re going to turn it around and look at it the other way. What am I talking about? It is respect. We usually think about respect as far as what kind of respect our teens are giving to us, but have you thought recently about what kind of respect you are giving to your teen?
[singing] R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.
Yes, I do understand that we want our teens to give respect to us and they definitely go through a phase where it can seem like it’s just not happening at all. They think they know everything, they think we know nothing, they think they need to correct us, or it could be in the tone of voice, or rolling of the eyes. There are so many ways that they seem to be able to show disrespect, and we respond to that not always well.
Let’s think about this. Don’t you give respect to the people who show respect to you? Maybe that’s a way to look at this. Maybe one of the ways to start training our teens to show respect to us is to be careful to show respect to them no matter what.
This is not easy, but I think it’s very necessary. Don’t get me wrong. I am still very much still learning in this regard because it doesn’t really become any less of a necessity when our kids become adults. I’m still very much needing to show respect to my adult kids and sometimes, it’s still not easy. I still need to be doing it. I’m right there with you in the trenches on this one.
The thing is that teens in particular are very sensitive when it comes to being shown respect. They are quick to notice even if only inside when somebody isn’t showing them respect, and they don’t like it. Who does?
Let’s take a look at some examples, ways that we show disrespect to our teens. We raise our voice, don’t we? We sure do. We’re impatient.
Here’s one, what about telling them what to do too much? Our teens are wanting a little bit more autonomy. If we’re still in the habit of telling them what to do all the time, that’s too much. That can be a form of disrespect. Certainly, the way they receive it, it could be.
How about interrupting them? I do this all the time still. I do this with adults. I’m an interrupter. Hi, I’m Ann Karako, and I’m an interrupter. I hate it for myself and for the other people. It’s something I’ve been working on lately. He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him, right? Let’s not give an answer in the middle of them giving an answer to us. Let’s listen.
Do you walk into their room without being invited? Maybe, it’s time to start knocking on the door and waiting for them to say, “Come in.”
Do you tease them in front of their friends? This is something that it can be very easy to get into trying to get the laugh, but our teens are very sensitive to that. Anytime we make fun of another person, that’s showing disrespect. We may think it’s funny, we may think other people will think it’s funny, but humor that is based on cutting somebody else down isn’t really that funny, or it shouldn’t be, especially if it’s something the person is sensitive about. That’s what we make fun of people about, right? With teens especially, super sensitive already in so many ways of life, so let’s not do that.
What about when we solve their problems for them. This is related a little bit to telling them what to do too much. Sometimes, people are just needing some space to figure something out for themselves. When we jump in and force our help on them, that can be disrespectful. Teens are no different.
Do you apologize when you have been offensive to them or do you just assume, “Hey, it’s my kid, and I don’t need to apologize”? Well, that would be disrespectful. Apologies are important in both directions. We need to show humility to our teen by apologizing to them when we’ve been offensive to them, when we’ve done any of the things we’ve already talked about.
Here’s another one. What about when we hand out consequences that are off the cuff, that are a hasty reaction, we’ve not given consideration to what an appropriate consequence would be in the given situation? Maybe we haven’t communicated with them well about it, either, because we’re angry or whatever. We’re just like, “Ok. Then this is what’s going to happen to you,” and we haven’t thought it through, and we haven’t communicated with them.
The best consequences are the ones that you and your teen agree on. Once you can agree that there was an error made of the type that needs consequences, then it helps also to agree on what those consequences will be, because then the teen is more likely to follow through and learn something from those consequences.
Here’s another one. What about not hearing their side of the story, especially between siblings? We can assume that someone is at fault when we listen to one of the other ones, and then not even really take the time to listen to the one who we think is probably at fault, or in the case of an older sibling, if the teen is the one who’s older, we tend to hold them more responsible for whatever situation may have arisen. “Well, you should know better. Your little brother doesn’t, but you should.” Well, that’s hardly fair. Let’s listen to their side of the story. Maybe, they have a reason for doing what they did that’s actually somewhat understandable, but if we don’t listen to it, that’s disrespectful and it’s unfair.
Then, it makes sense that the way to be respectful would be to correct all of these behaviors. I’m sure you can think of more. These are just the ones that came to me off the top of my head.
I think it can be really hard for us sometimes to remember that how we behave is just as important, perhaps even more so than what we say. It’s not just the content of the message. It’s how the message is delivered as well as our behavior at all other times is either going to back up what we say when we say something or not.
How can our teens respect us if our behavior doesn’t jive with the things that we say? It’s very hard for them. It’s very hard for anybody to respect somebody who is like that. I’m encouraging us all, myself included, to be an example in what it looks like to show respect to somebody.
Ann: Hey, I’m just hopping in to say that this episode has been sponsored by CTCMath. Are you looking for a new math curriculum? CTCMath specializes in providing online video tutorials that take a multi-sensory approach to learning. Favorably reviewed in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and the Old Schoolhouse Crew review, the lessons are short and concise to help your children break down concepts and appreciate math in a whole new way.
The lessons are taught the traditional way, not to a test. Each one of the video tutorials is taught by an internationally acclaimed teacher, Pat Murray, who is renowned for teaching math concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand way, and in only a few minutes at a time. Using a multisensory approach, having the combination of effective graphics and animation, synchronized with the voice of a friendly teacher together with practical assessment, this three-pronged attack makes learning so much easier and more effective. Even students who struggled with math are getting fantastic results and ones who were doing okay before are now doing brilliantly. Visit ctcmath.com today to start your free trial. That’s ctcmath.com.
Ann: Now, here’s another aspect of respect, because you might be thinking about now, “But this is a teenager we’re talking about. This is my child, and they don’t deserve my respect anyway because of the way that they’re acting.” Here’s the thing. If we reserve respect only for those people who deserve it, that is going to be a very slim number of people in the world because we are all mess-ups to one degree or another.
In each of us, there is one aspect or another or multiple that don’t deserve other people’s respect because we haven’t gotten ourselves on the ball in those areas. Yet, we still expect people to act respectfully toward us in general. Just because our teens don’t have their lives together yet, and they’re making lots of mistakes, does not mean that it’s right for us not to show respect to them. We don’t withhold love when they’re being unlovable. Let’s not withhold respect when we feel like they don’t deserve our respect.
This will train them for life. When they see that we are still respectful, even when they’ve behaved poorly, when they see that we are being an adult and maintaining self-control, even when they perhaps even deserve anger. There are times when anger itself is justified, but not necessarily the negative behaviors that come from that. When they see us behaving in a respectful manner towards them, no matter what, they learn, A, that it’s possible, so they don’t have any excuse, and B, they see it modeled. They see how to do it for themselves.
As homeschoolers, we know that communication is key to make this homeschool high school thing runs smoothly. Communication doesn’t happen without mutual respect. I could take that back. Communication does happen, but is it positive, productive communication? That’s the question. Often not, unless there is mutual respect shown.
It can be difficult when they are not showing you respect, but somebody has to start. Somebody has to be the adult. Again, they are just starting to figure out this thing called life. We’ve got a lot more years of experience on them. If we can’t do it, we certainly can’t expect them to do it.
I do find as a parent, sometimes, it’s really easy to get into a double standard where you’re expecting more from your kid than you’re capable of doing yourself. I’ve noticed that in time management for sure that I can expect more from my kids as far as being ready on time. “Hey, you need to be ready on time, so that when I’m ready to leave,” — which may be 5 or 10 minutes later — “then we can all go.” How fair is that? Not much at all. We place higher standards on them than we do on ourselves.
I think respect is one of those things. It’s so easy to fall into the yelling, the correcting, the “I’m the parent so I have the right to walk into their room at any time,” but let’s not.
I’m not saying we should overlook their poor behavior. I’m just saying that we should show them respect in spite of it because here’s the thing, if we act disrespectfully to them in the heat of the moment, then where does the attention fall? Does it fall on the mistake or error that they’ve made that needs correction, or does it fall on our own lack of self-control?
Our own lack of self-control certainly clouds the issue, doesn’t it? It takes a lot of the impetus away from correcting what they’ve done, because now we have to correct what we’ve done, and they’re looking at what we’ve done instead of looking at what they’ve done. This is getting convoluted, but I hope you understand what I mean.
This is not the outcome we want, especially because apologizing is hard. None of us wants to do that anymore than we have to. Let’s choose to behave respectfully so that we don’t have to go back and apologize for our own part in it. It’s like saying, “You know what? I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you really need to do better about such and so.” It just loses its oomph, doesn’t it?
The best way to bring about training is to maintain our own self-control and show respect in the midst of the training, in the midst of the fact that they’ve done something that needs correction, which would tempt us to not show respect.
When all is said and done, we love our kids so much. Let’s make the effort to show them respect out of love. Perhaps, sometimes, the only reason they deserve it is because they are our children. That ought to be enough though.
I welcome your thoughts on this subject in the comments, on the show notes page, which is going to be if you go to the notthathardtohomeschool.com website, and you go to podcast in the top menu, and then look for Episode 84, then you will find the show notes and there, you can write comments. Those are the ones I’m likely to see. I’m not likely to see comments if they’re on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts, or whatever. I don’t even know if you can write comments there.
If you’ve got any further advice for us parents of teens, feel free to comment on those show notes — or questions, I’m happy to see if I can answer them. This parenting gig, I am impressed by people who make courses out of parenting. I’ve never felt like an expert at it, even after five kids.
Hopefully, what I’ve shared today has been somewhat encouraging and helpful for you, but I’m definitely open to hearing what you have to say about it too.
Our next podcast episode is going to be a guest podcaster and then the first Monday in September, we’ll come back to this series of care and feeding of homeschooled teens, and we’ll talk about another thing we can give to our teens that helps the homeschooling and the relationship run more smoothly. I hope to see you then. Thanks for being here today.