Tactical Parenting: Mutual Interest
The primal motivation for showing respect is momentary interest in someone more than oneself. If one has no sincere interest in someone else, whatever respect they are expected to show leaves them contemptuous of being forced to do what they don’t want to do.
Examples: 1) You think your boss is dumb, but he speaks, you listen and do what he says and then spout your ill feelings to your spouse. Lack of interest in the boss’ competence generates signs but not respect, which means lack of mutual interest prevents mutual respect. 2) Your child perceives that you unfairly favor siblings. He does as you say but finds ways to release his bad feelings, perhaps on a weaker sibling. Thus, lack of mutual interest translates into lack of mutual respect. 3) You don’t discipline fairly as the child perceives it. He follows orders but plots not to get caught the next time. His lack of respect sprouts from lack of interest in your ability to be fair. (Children have an instinctive and remarkable ability to determine fairness and equal is never fair because personalities and interests are never equal.)
As this series continues you will find tactics that tend to hold a child’s interest in parental interests, which more easily earns respect and makes for more effective parenting. It works like this: Child wants to hear what parent has to say or do because it makes the child feel good just to hear or see it. Of course it doesn’t always work that way, but you get the picture. Unless routinely turned off by mom or dad, child wants to follow parental guidance but dodge or reduce parental discipline. It’s their self-development nature and more dynamically charged against guidance with boys than girls.
That which follows tends to earn and keep a child’s interest tuned to parental interest, which opens doors for mutual respect to form and accumulate. Tactical parenting for infants and toddlers follow next at 2332.