We Teach People How to Treat Us

in Character, Emotional, Language, Parenting, Social


Have you ever heard the sobering fact that we actually TEACH people how to treat us? From Dr. Phil (one of my favs):

“You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don’t.
This means you are partly responsible for the mistreatment that you get at the hands of someone else. You shape others’ behavior when you teach them what they can get away with and what they cannot.”

This is as true for romantic relationships as it is for family relationships–including your preschool child. Never underestimate the uncanny, built-in radar that children have in detecting our push buttons. This age may not consciously manipulate you into losing your temper, but their innate ability to “read” people is actually a survival gift.

This age is experimenting with everything they come into contact with, whether it’s play-doh or water or a parent or a sibling. In each situation, children are playing/learning/experimenting with language and behavior. When I do this, this happens. When I do that, that happens. When I say this, this happens. When I act like that, that happens.

Children want attention. Children need attention. Children will do whatever it takes to meet this need. Whether it is in the form of negative attention or positive attention.

You as the adult, must meet their needs in an appropriate manner so that they do not have resort to inappropriate behavior. Do NOT blame their behavior on them and take no responsibility for it yourselves. This is a give-and-take relationship and they are LOOKING to you to guide them in the correct way.

Remember, children have feelings too, and need to feel respected in order to give respect.

Preschool: What is it, anyway?

It’s treating our children with respect so that they can learn how to give respect.





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All content copyright Margaret Burkhart | 2011-2013