Respect Begets Respect. If we want respect from our children we need to value who they are. We need to respect their space and their desires. When we strive to understand their hearts, we appreciate them more. Parenting is demanding. It is a challenge that requires unselfishness and patience. It is a worthwhile investment.
Children will be more likely to listen when you lovingly ask them to do things they know they need to do. Children are often ordered around. For example, they are daily told things like, "Do your homework. Pick up your room. Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Take your medicine." Imagine your boss treated you that way? Perhaps he does and you resent it. You like to be treated as a human, not a computer or robot. You want appreciation and sometimes to be asked so you can make the choice.
Children can be given limited choices based on age and ability to respond. You might ask, "Do you want to turn off the video game Now or in Five minutes?" Inevitably, the child will choose the five minutes, and are more likely to be compliant. I asked my three year old granddaughter if she wanted to put her coat on or carry it. She chose to carry it, but when she got outside, she asked me to help her put it on. Had I said, "Put your coat on now" how would any self-respecting three-year respond? She would say "No!" We all want options to to excercise our freedom of choice. Giving children safe and reasonable options at a young age gets them thinking. They are processing choices and consequences. Put your arm around your child and ask them to do the required task in a loving, but firm way. Remember to give an option, as in Now or in ____ minutes. See how well it takes some of the stress out of parenting. For more tips on parenting from love and logic: http://www.loveandlogic.com/