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Respect Must be Mutual

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If parents made a list of their expectations of their teens, RESPECT would be listed near the top. Parents believe they deserve respect, and rightly so. Children are taught to defer to adults and that those in authority are entitled to respect. The problem here is that teens are neither children nor adults. In relation to respect, this poses problems.

A teen deserves the same respect you would give another adult. Treating a teen like a child is a bad choice, since this tactic is often rewarded with childlike behavior. A child should respect their elders, and so should a teen, but with teenagers it is more a mutual respect that is required. You should treat them like they are on your same level.

To avoid any pitfalls, try to think of them as adults-in-training. They are beginners at a new job and still learning the ropes.' Just because they don't know as much as you does not mean they should be treated with disrespect. You wouldn't treat a stranger that way.

Use a respectful tone of voice; give them the benefit of the doubt, and treat them like you wish to be treated yourself. Do not change this approach unless the teen gives you reason to do otherwise.

Teens must know you anticipate being treated with respect because you are the parent, but if you also treat your teen in the same way, you may not need to remind -them of the respect you deserve.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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