You teach your children how to be respectful by respecting them.
They are humans. Not your little robot to control.
I caused a trigger for a young woman the other week for saying I don’t smack my kids and that boundaries and respect can be taught without resorting to hitting them, in response to a post about discipline.
Her reason for hitting her kids was that she is Maori and it’s how it’s done in her culture. (Oh and that she is happy to not disappoint her culture and continue smacking them)
So I said I was disappointed as this is my culture too and I choose to break the stereotypes that are laid on us of being a violent culture.
And, with a little deeper research it is actually well documented that in our culture we were very gentle with our tamariki and even the men were seen with toddlers on their backs while they were off doing whatever jobs they had to do for the day so the wāhine could do what they needed to.
I personally chose to learn how to honour my emotional needs without projecting it onto my child by angrily outbursting and smacking them.
Have I always gotten it right? No, definitely not.
It’s not about being perfect and saying I’m the best mum ever because there is no measure for that.
Yet I have personally chosen to be better than I was raised.
No hate for the times I was raised in or my parents but I choose differently. They raised me through their own trauma responses doing their best.
And time and again I am shown by the actions of my children that I must be doing ok.
My babies know how to primal scream, even if they think it looks funny.
My babies know how to say no to us. An important trait that I wanted to make sure they could use as how else do we learn to implement boundaries and say no to someone?
My babies know that we respect their values and are comfortable coming to us with whatever problem or thing they might want help with.
My babies have seen me in emotional shitstorms and come out the other side.
(Yes they are still my babies even though my youngest is 14 😅)
They know all is welcome in our house.
They don’t pretend to respect me because they are afraid if they don’t I will throw them a beat down.
They respect me because I have shown them actions that can be respected.
I will never choose violence. And yes, hitting your child in any form is abuse.
And no, not hitting kids is not the reason there are ‘unruly’ teens out there. But that’s a whole extra subject.
But I will say there’s a reason there are so many adults now who hate confrontation, are pathological liars and get defensive so easily…
Many of them I see through my work.
We get to do and be better. Remember that.