What’s one of the most critical values you can instill in your middle schooler? Respect.  By teaching her to respect you, herself and others, you’ll help her grow into a grounded, decent adult.

And believe it or not, she’s looking to you for guidance.  Studies show that kids do care what their parents think.  Don’t assume your preteen takes her cues from friends and pop culture.  The signals you send your preteen about the issue of respect are critical.

To make sure your message gets through loud and clear:
  • Remember that you’re not her friend.  Your preteen already has friends; she needs you to be her parent.  Friends have equal power in a relationship; parents and children do not.  It may sound like fun to be her buddy, but she needs you to be an authority figure.  Earn your child’s respect by being reliable and steady, not by being her pal.
  • Be tough when necessary.  A survey reports that 55% of parents cave in to their child’s nagging.  Don’t be one of them.  Instead, be firm and reasonable when dealing with your preteen.  Treat her fairly and you’ll demonstrate respect.  Be consistent and loving and you’ll earn it.

http://www.sourcebooks.com Source: Jim Taylor, Ph.D., "Your Children are Under Attack: How Popular Culture is Destroying Your Kids’ Values, and How You Can Protect Them" (Sourcebooks, Inc.) Reprinted with permission from Copyright (c) 2007 The Parent Institute