Respect For Mother
I can't count the times that I have heard mothers complain that their children do not respect them: that they sass them, call them names, refuse to follow their instructions and even assult them. The mothers then report that when their husband walks in,the children begin to behave like "angels".
Well what is going on in these households?
This all too common pattern of disrespect for mothers and respect for fathers could have numerous causes. The following is a list of some likely causes that easily come to mind:
1. The father has appropriately disciplined the children. He uses rewards for good behavior and moderate forms of punishment for persistent or dangerous bad behavior.
2. The father has over-used corporal punishment and the children are afraid of him.
3. The father has a violent temper and the children are afraid of him.
3. The mother is permissive and has not used methods identified in #1.
4. The mother does not think she is permissive because she yells, speaks harshly to her children often and frequently threatens them with dire consequences, but does not use the methods in #1. This means the mother is emotionally abusive and permissive at the same time.
4. The mother does not think she is permissive because she explains over and over why the children should not behave badly and why they should be good. This means the mother is indulgent and permissive at the same time.
5. The father is bigger, stronger, his voice is lower, he speaks more directly and he more often says what he means and means what he says. Also, he is less likely to back down from a confrontation with his children.
If you are a mother or a father, the best way to earn and keep the repect of your children is to earn it using cause # 1. Please note that mothers can also fit the bill with # 5.
Dr. Tom 3/13/10