What is Respectful Parenting

When it comes to parenting, there are a lot of things to think about. What’s the best way to handle bedtimes? Should you let your kids cry it out? And what about punishment? Some parents believe in strict punishments, while others take a more gentle approach. No matter which style of parenting you choose, one thing is always important: being respectful towards your children. Keep reading to find out what respectful parenting is and how you can do it!

What is Respectful Parenting?

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Respectful parenting is based on a mutually respectful parent-child relationship. Parents work with their children to find solutions to everyday parenting challenges together, rather than resorting to commands or ultimatums. They also take the time to understand their children’s underlying physical and emotional needs and recognize that emotional expression is healthy. Respectful parenting starts with guiding your child in how to express their emotions respectfully. This means modeling the behavior you want to see and teaching them how to use their words to communicate what they’re feeling. It’s important to remember that children and adults alike need space to cope with strong emotions before they can talk about them. This doesn’t mean you should ignore your child when upset, but rather give them the time and space to work through their feelings. Lastly, trusting your child to make good choices is a key part of respectful parenting. This means allowing them to experience natural consequences and supporting them as they learn from their mistakes. By following these guidelines, you can create a foundation of respect that will benefit both you and your child. This type of parenting results in children who are confident and independent and who have a strong sense of self-worth. Additionally, respectful parenting fosters a deep connection between parent and child, based on love and understanding.

Why is Respect Important in Parenting?

Many experts agree that respect is a critical component of good parenting. When you respect your child, you send the message that they are important and valued. This, in turn, helps them to learn to respect themselves. Self-respect is an essential foundation for healthy relationships with others. Additionally, when you show respect to your child, you model the behavior you want them to adopt. Just as importantly, respecting your child helps to build their self-esteem and confidence. These are essential qualities that will help them succeed in life. Finally, when you have a respectful relationship with your child, others will be more likely to treat them with respect as well. Ultimately, respect is one of the most important qualities that good parents can instill in their children.

How to Start Respectful Parenting

Value equality.

Parenting with respect begins with the understanding that every family member is important and deserves consideration. This means that parents should seek a relationship with their children based on equality rather than power. There should be no age hierarchy or power struggles within the family. Instead, every member should be treated with respect and given a voice in decision-making. Parents should also actively commit to eliminating childism in all its forms, both within the family and in society at large.

Seek consent.

This means that you should never make decisions on your child’s behalf without first getting their consent. This applies to everything from what they want to wear, to what they want to eat, to whether or not they want to participate in a particular activity. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but it’s the best way to ensure your child feels respected and valued. Additionally, it’s important to respect your child’s bodily autonomy. This means that they have the right to decide what happens to their bodies, and no one has the right to force them to do anything they don’t want to do. Teaching your child about consent and bodily autonomy from a young age will help them develop into confident and self-assured adults.

Live by principles, not rules.

You might be tempted to control everything your child does, but that’s not respectful parenting. Instead, focus on principles, not rules. Don’t seek to rule over your children as an authority figure; let them develop their internal compass for right and wrong. They’ll be intrinsically motivated to do what’s “right” instead of just being afraid of being in trouble. And don’t worry—if you raise them with respect, they’ll likely grow up to be respectful adults.

Take kids seriously.

If we want to practice respectful parenting, we must start by taking our children seriously. This means not trivializing their wants, needs, feelings, opinions, likes, and dislikes. Instead, we should see things from their perspective. What’s important to them should also be important to us. By taking our children seriously, we can show them that we respect their views and opinions.

Don’t demand obedience.

When we prioritize obedience, we send the message that our love is conditional and that our approval depends on them meeting our expectations. This can lead to feelings of shame and worthlessness and a loss of connection with us. Instead, by focusing on empathy, cooperation, and problem-solving, we model respect and help our children develop a sense of self-worth that is not reliant on our approval. This does not mean that there will never be times when obedience is necessary, but it should not be the primary focus of our parenting. When we prioritize respect and connection, we create a foundation of trust and security that will serve our children throughout their lives.

Acknowledge feelings.

Seeing your children express emotions can be uncomfortable, but it is important for their development. Acknowledging your children’s feelings and empathizing with them helps them to understand and cope with their emotions. Expressing emotions is also important for their development. It helps them to understand their own emotions and to express themselves in a healthy way. When you acknowledge your children’s feelings and empathize with them, you are helping them to develop into happy and well-adjusted adults.

Focus on connection.

Parenting is not a job that you can clock out of at the end of the day. It is a relationship that you have with your child that will last a lifetime. The way you parent your child will have a lasting impact on the kind of person they become. That is why focusing on building a deep connection with your child is so important. Having a strong connection with your child gives you a foundation of respect and understanding. From this foundation, you can teach your child about respectful communication and conflict resolution. By focusing on connection, you can set your child up for success in all areas of their life.

What are the Benefits of Respecting Children?

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Respecting children can help them feel valued and important.

When we take the time to listen to what they have to say and value their opinions, it helps them feel like we see them as worthwhile human beings. Additionally, when we take care to use appropriate language with them and show patience when they’re learning new things, we convey that we think they’re capable. This fosters a sense of self-confidence and a positive self-esteem in children, which can carry over into other areas of their lives. When children feel respected, they’re more likely to behave in respectful ways themselves. So respecting children isn’t just about making them feel good at the moment; it’s about helping them develop into well-rounded adults.

It can help them learn to respect others.

Respecting children is crucial if we want them to learn to respect others. When we show children that we respect them, we give them a valuable model to follow. We also send the message that they are worthy of our respect. This can help children to feel good about themselves and foster a sense of self-respect. In turn, children who feel good about themselves are more likely to treat others with kindness and compassion. Furthermore, when children see that their parents and caregivers respect each other, it can help them to understand the importance of mutual respect in relationships.

It can help them develop a positive self-image.

By showing them respect, you give them a positive view of themselves. This can help them develop a strong sense of self-worth and self-confidence. When you listen to your child and take their opinions seriously, you show them that you value their thoughts and feelings. This helps them to feel respected and valued, which is essential for a healthy self-image. It’s also important to let your child make mistakes and learn from them. This allows them to develop a realistic view of their abilities and discover their strengths and weaknesses. Through this process, they can learn to accept themselves and develop a positive self-image.

It can help them form better relationships with others.

Respecting children can help them form better relationships not only with others but also with themselves. When we respect children, we give them a foundation of self-respect. They learn to view themselves as equal and deserving of love, care, and attention. This creates a strong sense of self-worth that allows children to reach out to others from a place of strength. They can form healthier relationships built on equality and respect as they interact with the world around them. This creates a ripple effect of positivity that can touch every area of their lives.

It can teach them how to handle difficult situations.

By treating them with kindness, listening to them, and giving them attention, we show them that their thoughts and feelings are important to us. This helps them feel valued and teaches them that it is okay to express their emotions. Additionally, when we respect children’s boundaries and give them space when they need it, we model healthy coping skills for them. As a result, they learn how to regulate their emotions and manage stress healthily. When children feel respected, they are more likely to grow into well-adjusted adults who can handle difficult situations effectively.

It can help them become responsible adults.

When we show them respect, they learn how to treat others with kindness and consideration. In turn, this helps them develop into responsible adults. When children feel respected, they are more likely to have positive self-esteem and a sense of worth, making them more likely to succeed in school and their future careers.

Final Thoughts

It can be challenging to start being respectful towards your children, but the benefits are clear when you get the hang of it. A mutually respectful parent-child relationship is key to happy home life for everyone involved. Have you had success with respectful parenting? Leave a comment below and share this post with other parents who might benefit from these tips! 



I'm a Mom of two daughters, Freya and Ava. I love to share insights on how parents can be better parents. I write about topics that are relevant to me as a parent: things like parenting style, relationship, marriage, and balancing work and family.

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