One of the most common themes I see with parents is the need for respect. So often, a parent will tell me their child was disrespectful and then wait for me to agree and justify how their child needs to respect them. I’ve felt the same way, and yet when I delve a bit deeper into this need, in myself, and recognize that my child isn’t responsible for filling it I have a chance to respect myself.
For the minute I view my daughter’s behavior as disrespectful, I’m triggered into a stance that needs her to respect me. In that moment, I’ve switched the attention onto my needs instead of hers. How quickly this happens and what’s even crazier is I can stand there and justify my need as being more important than hers. From this stance, all I can focus on is having her take care of my need to be respected. I lose sight of her message behind the delivery and instantly put my daughter in the adult role as the caretaker of my needs.
Example: Imagine your child screaming she hates you because you didn’t give her what she wanted. In her outrage at hearing “no” she lashes out, since you are the one who has thwarted her need. In that moment you can either move to a place inside that believes she is disrespectful because she is screaming at you, or you can breathe deeply and see that your child is in distress. Remember, in this moment, she doesn’t have the capacity to show you respect. So, try respecting yourself by not taking her outburst as a personal attack. Show her the respect you feel inside by “showing up” for her deep need to have you be a safe emotional container that can allow her expression so she can move through her emotional cycle back to love.