Three monumental events rattle and shake the peaceful upbringing of children. First is dependence on mom’s love. Second is the opening of each child’s conscious mind. Third is each child’s passage through puberty. Each event can be pacified by women with sound judgment. The kind of judgment that automatically flows out of making something more important than love.
1) A woman’s love arises in two forms. Those they birth and everyone else. They can harmonize their home by blending the two forms into a common sense, well-accepted, and connected set of relationships. But her love alone can’t do it. Contrary to modern female thought, even mother-love isn’t enough.
The most important ingredient is respect continuously and equally generated into mutual respect. But there’s a catch. Respect, which is a part of mother-love, does not include respect for others.
Respect is more important than love for the process of bringing and holding people together. Respect lays the foundation for love. Without some sort of foundation of mutual respect, even mother-love can’t hold a family together.
When family members recognize they are respected as individuals, they can overlook the biases of mother-love spread among unequal targets. Personal conviction that they are respected first and loved second shifts their thoughts from me to us, from self-centered to family-centered.
When husband receives respect from wife and kids, he buys in. When husband respects wife without reservation, her authority is established. When children are respected as exceptional by gender, capability, and contribution, they take it personal that their exceptionalism is unique, deserved, and adequate for their own purpose in life. Hence, everybody buys in.
Being respected makes love credible. Human nature makes one doubt they deserve the love of another. Respect, especially trust, overcomes but never completely removes doubt.
2) Sometime in their third year, a child’s conscious mind opens and they come online as an independent person with under developed personality. Recognizing themselves as another person, they instinctively expect to be treated like the big people they see around them, who seem to do just what they please. Being copycats, even toddlers follow suit.
Trust is the most dynamic form of respect. It’s instinctive that boys especially be trusted for two reasons: a) They see others being respected and presume they are alike and deserving. b) They are self-developers. They consciously recognize their independence and expect to take advantage to do what they want to do; to play, explore, fix, look inside things, and especially climb.
Without being respected, they’re neither free nor trusted to do what they think proper, not respected as much as they think they deserve. It’s the result of recognizing that they too are a person and entitled to develop themselves as they see fit. Of course they don’t go through those thought processes; it’s instinctive and grows more intuitive with experience.
Both sexes are hardwired as self-developers. Boys deal with things and expect to do it alone. Girls deal with relations and expect to be guided without too much oversight. Both expect to be respected as they witness others being trusted to go about their own business mostly undisturbed by overseers.
Consequently, children develop themselves better when not overly supervised but respectfully guided away from threats and danger.
3) They pass through puberty. From being willing to absorb instruction, they shift to insist on giving it. From being malleable for those they respect, they shift to being one of those due respect as an adult. The less their hearts and minds are filled before puberty with mature adult values and standards, the more susceptible they are to let peers fill the vacuum. The more intensely they model themselves around adult values and standards before puberty, the less impressionable they are among those outside the family with whom they associate.
The thread starts early and never ends. To earn their respect, you have to first give it. The best form of respecting someone is to trust them. Toddlers, tweens, and teens expect it. Children show respect for parents, and parents receive it as trust and vice versa. Parents show trust and kids receive it as respect, but not vice versa. Adult expressions of respect that don’t convey trust don’t register much with kids. They aren’t sophisticated enough to convert routine parental respect into trust. To kids, trust is action and words meant to convey respect are not as meaningful.
Family success starts with greater respect for everyone. When kids arrive mom starts it with toddlers. By generating mutual respect throughout the family, mutual acceptance morphs into mutual love to hold the family together for life.