Teaching Behaviors is what we do!


Many parents and educators struggle with feeling disrespected by their kids or students. Does this resonate with you? Do you ever find yourself thinking, “Why does this kid think it’s okay to treat me like this?” or “I go out of my way to treat these kids well. Why do they act like I’m stupid?”

Disrespectful behavior (eye-rolling, arguing, defiance, lying, etc.) is often a form of limit testing, which is a young person’s way of asking this important question: “Do you love me enough to provide the caring boundaries required to keep me safe from myself?” When limits over respect are inconsistent or weak, disrespectful behavior increases. The child’s self-concept suffers, and they lack the modeling required to learn how to set limits with their peers.

The ability to say “no” to peers starts with experiencing
“no” from one’s parents.

Those familiar with Love and Logic know limits are most effectively provided when we describe what we are willing to do or allow, rather than trying to tell others how they should behave. Describing our own actions provides an enforceable limit. Dictating the actions of another does not.

“Treat me with respect!” is unenforceable.
“I’m happy to do the extra things I do for you when I feel respected” is enforceable.

Is it okay for a parent or educator to calmly and consistently provide perks only when they feel respected? Absolutely! In fact, it’s essential. While our children certainly won’t thank us in the short term, we can be assured that doing so provides the type of limits and security they need.

A Love and Logic mom recently described how she began the process of gaining her thirteen-year-old son’s respect:

Son: “It’s time for you to take me to practice. Why are you just sitting there?”
Mom: “Oh, this is so sad. It’s just really hard for me to want to do the extra things I do for you when I keep hearing how dumb you think I am.”
Son: “I was just kidding! Why do you make such a big deal out of everything? It’s time to go.”
Mom: “Maybe by next week at this time, I’ll feel better about taking you. I sure hope so.”

She held firm and experienced the predictable onslaught of arguing, pouting, and guilt-trips.

“Over the past few months,” she reflected, “I see him becoming a lot calmer and more respectful. I think he’s realizing that I care enough about myself to expect respect. It’s really improved our relationship!”

Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit,forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay

This is the latest article I received from Love and Logic.  When I read these, I really connect them back to our PBIS model at Everett.  Think about the importance of building positive relationships with the students.  If they are being disrespectful to us, how do we show them that we are respecting them?  Do we send them out of the room or take the opportunity to teach them that missing skill or both?  Do we take what we call “behaviors” and use them as opportunities for growth and learning?  I love Everett because we teach behavior and we believe that it is our duty to teach our students how to be successful in the world, and that includes behavior as well as all the curricular areas!