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Raising Respectful Children

Sarah Chana Radcliffe

All of us dream of having polite, respectful children who will speak softly and nicely even when provoked. But we prefer to forget that children tend to imitate the behavior of the role models around them. If we want respectful children, we need to master the art of respectful communication ourselves.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Each and every human being is made “b’tzelem Elokim” — in the image of G-d — and should be treated accordingly. We all believe this, and try to do so. And it’s fairly easy — as long as everything goes our way. But when negative emotions hit, when we’re struggling with frustration, rage, panic or hurt, our good intentions falters and it becomes far harder to properly fulfill our interpersonal obligations.

Unfortunately, these emotions are triggered constantly in family life over issues big and small. Here’s a small sampling of family situations that can provoke shades of frustration in various family members: 

  • Dinner isn’t to a child’s liking (frustration, disappointment)
  • Someone got a bigger piece of cake (frustration, jealousy, upset)
  • A child refuses to cooperate (frustration, helplessness)
  • Yet again, a sibling has borrowed clothing without permission (frustration, rage)
  • A child carelessly destroys a valued keepsake (frustration, sadness)
  • A teen is out late and hasn’t called as promised (frustration, fear, panic) 


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