Creative Child June 2018 - Page 23

However, sometimes the problem isn’t disconnection from me but it’s always some form of disconnection. Feeling disconnected from a best friend or sibling also causes the nasty feelings that drive disrespectful behavior. Sometimes we can help them mend those relationships or offer timely advice, but most often what they need is for us to see their pain, to listen to their experience and show empathy and understanding. Wait a minute. So, am I supposed to turn a blind eye to disrespect and just offer hugs instead? That’s not what I’m saying. Rude behavior should be corrected. You have a right to hold to your boundaries on how you will be treated. However, what I am saying is that the fix for disrespect is not in the consequences but in the connection. Punishment won’t solve this one. So, you can say, “Hey, I won’t allow you to speak to me like that. I understand that you’re upset but calling me names is not okay.” You might even walk away during a heated moment so that you don’t lose your cool. Your ultimate goal, however, is not to punish the behavior but to heal the heart. When the heart feels better, the disrespect and defiance will disappear. Children who feel better behave better. It’s the best-kept secret in parenting. Connection is the key! 22