As a parent, respect is a big deal in our home. This world is losing its respect for self, for others, for mother nature, for religion, for just plain everything. In the article mentioned above, this mother talks about how her perspective of parenting changed with one sentence. I love her take on this view, and certainly will be considering this as a mother myself. However, I do have some other thoughts. I hope she would agree, but here's what I have to say.
Yes, we should be speaking to our children with respect, to get the same respect in return, and certainly getting down to their eye level. Its important that our children don't feel they are being talked down to. But when a child speaks to you with the same disrespect I got from the before mentioned member of our fitness club, then the tone will change, naturally. Not because it should, it just does. This is where we as parents have to learn self control with our own emotions. And prayer has been the key for me in this endeavor.
So I sat there, wondering what to do with my heartbroken and troubled son. Yes, he was out of line in disrespecting me in his moment of anger, after feeling attacked at school by both his peers and teacher. I am not saying he was not at fault, but that is how he felt. I stood up, went outside and began to help him scoop the poop. Not only were we literally scooping our dogs poop, but we were cleaning up the mess that was made of our emotions that afternoon. Scooping the poop from our lives. As we quietly surveyed the lawn for Ozzie's little lawn treats, Zander began to cry. This was a different cry than the angry cry while he yelled at me, this was a quiet whimper, where he was burying his head in his jacket. I asked what was wrong, to which he replied, "I don't like when I hear those words at school and then say them to you".
My sweet, big heart-ed son had felt the sting of true sorrow and remorse from his actions. He didn't need a mother to yell at him, he didn't need to feel belittled by parents he looks up to (literally), he needs to be heard, he needed to be in his thoughts and emotions, and he needed to see his mother put aside her own emotions and serve him.
I am not always so calm, but I pray each day for the effort to try to be. In a talk given by Elder J. Devn Cornish found HERE he says,
Our children deserve to be heard, they deserve to be able to express their own emotions and learn to deal with them. They don't need to have us rub their noses in the poop, for them to understand that sometimes, it just sucks to have to deal with people and poop. I have learned a lot in the last couple years from my children, that even though I am the mother, and my husband and I lay down the ground rules, my children still have a voice and it deserves a place in our home and our hearts.
Final quote by Elder Cornish from the same talk,