Therapist Gerry Goertzen asks if, as a parent, you are sometimes at a loss, when your child is being disrespectful, even when they are small but even more so as they grow up. He states that it is usually not a personal attack, but rather that they are trying to express their boundaries, exercise their autonomy, and they need room for that, but they also need to learn how to correctly do that.
Children learn, first and foremost, by watching us as parents, as adults. The first thing we have to do is ask ourselves, ‘’How well are we doing? How am I doing at expressing respect for others and towards our children themselves?’’ Gerry suggests asking your children questions when we feel they are being disrespectful. Such as asking them how they think they are doing, do they think they could change their tone of voice? Or expressing your sadness at the way they responded to you. Another strategy is to ask your child if you speak to them in that manner or disrespectful tone, in order to instill in them a mutually respectful relationship.