"Smart, audacious and often hilarious. Takes everything you thought you knew about parenting and turns it on its ear." - Jennifer Jason Leigh

Want respectful children?

If you want respectful children…

You gotta be respectful to them.

You want your children to listen to you?

You gotta really listen to them.

You want a child who is caring, sensitive and patient?

You gotta be caring, sensitive and patient to them.

You want a resilient child?

You have to let them practice struggling and recovering—with support.

And if you want your child to have impulse control…

you have to have it with them!

As in, don’t lose your cool. And when you make a mistake and respond in ways you wish you hadn’t (which we all inevitably do), you need to make amends—the benefits of which are numerous: 1) Your children will see you as fallible and thus human, 2) they’ll know you truly care about their feelings and 3) you’ll be modeling remorse and humility.

And just because you do treat them with respect and compassion, doesn’t mean they will transform their behavior overnight.

Patience, repetition and predictability are key.

9 Responses to “Want respectful children?”

  1. Amara says:

    I love this blog so, so much … going to link this one next time somebody tries to tell me hitting teaches respect :)

  2. Ruth Mason says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’m so glad to find this site. I’m about to start teaching my first parent-infant class based on Pikler/RIE principles in Jerusalem as part of my RIE II training and reading about your first class was super helpful. Can’t wait ti read more. Thank you! (I couldn’t email you from your contact page cuz dont have Outlook at home…)

    • Jennifer says:


      somehow i’m just now seeing this. my apologies for the late reply. so glad you found me and Pikler!

      How is your class going???

      I’d love to hear about it!


  3. Sal says:

    Yup. Very true. Also, my wife and I modeled respect towards each other. I always said dear and thank you and tried never to disrespect my wife in front of the kids. She tried to do the same, showing me respect. There were times we were fighting I just wanted to say something mean but I held back. The kids seem to have gotten the message.

  4. Briana Weber says:

    We often turn to your blog when we need a laugh and some stern words of wisdom. For this reason we have nominated you on our blog for a Very Inspiring Blogger award. Thank you for your wonderful writing!!!

  5. Azan says:

    So true Jen! Kids may not do what you say, but they will ALWAYS copy what you DO!…shockingly so.
    Thanks for another great article.

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