Saturday, November 21, 2015

How to Teach Your Children Respect - Part 1

You're having a conversation with another adult. Your daughter comes up and wants something. So she interrupts... rather loudly. You try to at least finish your sentence but the moment is gone because the interruptor is now jumping up and down and yelling. You can't ignore it and so you turn away from the conversation, giving in to the demands of Little Capone.

Little Capone learns that this technique is rather effective in getting what she wants. So she does it again the next time her brother takes away her toy and your attention is elsewhere. By barging in, she knows she has the upper hand. A few tears and a shrill voice are her weapons of threat. Very quickly you do whatever Little Capone requests so you can get back to whatever you were doing. You are unaware that Capone has just stolen respect from you. It was just a little demand. She'll eventually learn, you tell yourself. But over time, there is no respect left. The Character Bank Account is empty. You are left poor, with no inheritance to pass on to your kids. And they, in turn, have nothing to give their children.

Children must learn to respect their parents, and adults in general. They are not the center of the universe. Like a warm, inviting fire in the fireplace into which everyone sitting around it gazes, so a toddler takes center stage, with family members gazing in adoration. But soon that toddler learns he is the king of the household.

So how do you teach a child to respect his/her elders? First of all, children can be taught to not interrupt. A signal from you that you see them should be all that's necessary until you are done talking. They should quietly wait next to you, perhaps a touch on your arm, but should never say anything until you can politely and properly break away from your conversation. You tell them the rule before you head out the door. And then you reinforce their good behavior by turning to them and giving them your full attention when it is an appropriate moment. You also discourage bad behavior by ignoring the interruptor. You do not give her eye contact but hold up a finger to signal you see her and she must wait and then go ahead a finish your conversation. If Capone is ignoring your signal, then stop the conversation by politely excusing yourself, and then put her in time out. She must think about how to politely get her parent's attention. After a minute or two, you can ask her what she thought about, and only after she has verbally repeated the proper way to wait for your attention, can she tell you want she wanted to say.

And now for a refashion...

I am currently working on a T-shirt quilt. My last post showed the steps of cutting out the squares from old but favorite T-shirts and then ironing the fusible interfacing onto the backs. Next, I sewed the squares together, doing a row at a time. Then I'll sew the rows together.