Me in a Tree

Posts Tagged ‘Respect’


You have probably heard phrases like “you better”, “you should”, or “you must”,Me in a Tree and you have probably inadvertently used these phrases with your children. Even though these statements demonstrate a sense of authority and urgency, they do not, however, communicate how you really feel or what you really want in a situation.

To avoid building any communication barriers, use statements that start with “I”. There are three main components of I-statements:

• “I feel”: say how you feel about the situation
• “when”: refer to the actual situation
• “because”: explain your thoughts on the situation

These components are quite specific to romantic relationships; however, the principles can work in a similar way when communicating with your children. For instance, say “I would appreciate it if you cleaned your room today”. This not only communicates your feelings and needs in the situation, but it also improves your child’s response to what you need them to do. Instead of the authoritative voice of you-statements, this type of communication has a softer tone, and it exhibits understanding and empathy.

These statements eliminate the immediate fight-or-flight, defensive response from the receiver of the message, whether that is your partner, friend, family member, or child. Instead, these statements become a conversation opener, and can be used as an avenue to resolving the conflict.

It is hard to fight the basic response of “you did that” or “you never do this”, but shifting your approach can be more effective and efficient in reaching a resolution.

Check out an online, interactive resource that gives parents and kids tools, activities and games to build a stronger family.


It can be hard to admit that you are wrong, especially to your children. Me in a TreeIt is, however, necessary. Children are life’s great imitators, and they soak up and transpose the behaviours of their parents, friends, and other people. Parents are responsible for the growth and development of their children, while at the same time growing personally themselves.

Apologizing takes a great deal of humility and courage, regardless of who you are apologizing to. It has been said that apologizing to your child when you are clearly in the wrong weakens or cheapens your authority. Instead, however, an apology shows children that as a parent, you recognize your mistakes and humbly admit them. The lesson here is that your children will learn the virtue of humility, respect, and the importance forgiveness.

Showing that you have respect for your children when you intentionally apologize teaches them that respect, communication, and forgiveness are essential to maintaining a balanced and healthy relationship.

The take-away: Apologizing to your children models positive behaviour, and shows respect for you, your children, and your relationship. It provides them with a structure or framework for them when they find themselves in similar situation. Finally, apologizing allows you and your child to move on from the situation, and continue to make great memories. Demonstrating this type of respect and humility in front of your child will strengthen your relationship and open communication.

Check out an online, interactive resource that gives parents and kids tools, activities and games to build a stronger family.


Speaking up and voicing opinions are important things to learn as a child, but most children are unaware of when they should or should not speak up. Parents often send mixed messages to their children about their role in communication. Messages can often amount to “you can talk, but only when it’s convenient”. It is important that children know that they have the freedom to voice their opinions.

As your children grow older, they will develop the confidence to speak up when they don’t understand or need something, when they have an idea or opinion, or when they are communicating their feelings. Parents, in turn, must create this communication space and encourage open dialogue with their children.

The keystone to this process is lending a listening ear. Not only do children need to voice their opinions, but they also need to be reassured that their opinions are not falling on deaf ears. Listen actively, and listen always.

According to a study done by the Stranmillis University College, children want to be involved in the learning and decision-making process. They explore and investigate what the issue is, whether it is a need, like, or dislike. This active participation is beneficial to their overall development, so make it priority to involve your children in any decisions that are relevant to them.

And, besides, kids say the darndest (and often truthful) things: check out this cute video.

Sources: The Importanice of Listening to Your Child
Uncommon Parenting: Affirming Your Child’s Voice: How and When to Encourage Your Child to Speak Up Bill Cosby’s Kids Say the Darndest Things


Parents often miss the moments when their children behave exceptionally well Me in a Treebecause they are trying too hard to be on the look-out for bad behavior. It is easy to rebuke and discipline when they aren’t behaving properly, but when children act with respect or cooperation, parents tend to overlook this.

The warm and fuzzy jar is a tool that parents can use to reward positive behavior. It promotes cooperation and teamwork, but it is also is an encouragement and reward for the moments that you notice the best in your children – picking up their toys, helping you with the groceries, or getting along with siblings.

All it takes is a pickle jar (or any type of jar), colored pom-poms, and some enthusiasm.

• Every person in the family should get a jar, so children can see the positive behavior of the parents.
• Every time someone does something nice or helpful, he/she get a pom-pom, and when the jar is full, he/she gets to choose an activity they want to do with one parent.
• For siblings, when they do something nice for each other, they get two pom-poms.

Focus on “catching your child in the act” of using their manners and being cooperative, and tell them exactly how you saw their positive behavior. For example, say “today you remembered to say thank you when mommy made you a snack”.

To make sure that the novelty doesn’t wear off and motivation remains high, pick two months in the year to do the warm and fuzzy jar.

Get the whole family involved as this can create a happier, healthier, stronger, and more respectful family, and you can have some fun while doing it. Keep in mind that when it comes to positive affirmation, the prize doesn’t really matter because the affirmation is the prize.


Does what you tell your child fall on deaf ears?

The problem with poor listening in children may be with you.  Me in a TreeMost parents’ unknowingly teach their kids not to listen to them.  If you consistently repeat yourself and don’t follow through on what you say, you are teaching your kids to ignore you.

Family coaches say that this problem has many causes, one of which is failing to give real consequences.  Sometimes, parents nag, beg, or bribe their children to get their chores done, and this has no real consequence, which will indicate to your child that you aren’t being serious about what they need to do.  Many times, children are not unsure of what exactly needs to be done.  Make sure that you also give them direction in how to accomplish tasks in order to alleviate that frustration.

Children are natural imitators, and when they see you are not listening to them, your spouse, or the grocery store clerk, they will be quick to follow that pattern.  You can prevent and combat this issue by modeling respect and attentive listening in your own behaviour.  Simple things like making and holding eye contact, using voice to express understanding, and being genuinely interested in what your child has to say will produce great results.

Communicating with your child is no easy task, and it gets harder as children start to identify with peers.  By following the few tips above and consulting great parenting websites such as Me in a Tree, you can ensure that your child will stop ignoring you and start listening.

Discovery: Why Don’t My Kids Listen to Me
Psychology Today: Worst Mistakes Parents Make When Talking to Kids


Today’s Businesswoman Magazine has a say about Me in a Tree.

In this fast-paced society, our family foundations have suffered what seems like irrefutable damage! Honour, Relationships, Respect, and Togetherness all seem like unreachable dreams. Imagine my delight in finding out that families can turn this around – not by squeezing MORE time out of their schedules, but by using the exact same time they are already spending! It’s about QUALITY, not quantity.

Me in a Tree – fun, healthy, easy transitions to focus on our families and invest in our futures! I URGE EVERYONE who loves his/her family to talk to the Me In a Tree team right now! When the children are grown, “would-have, should-have” doesn’t do much good!

Kathleen D. Mailer,

Founder and Editor-in Chief, Today’s Businesswoman Magazine.



Being a mother is about falling in love with a child whom you’ve never met. About falling more deeply in love the second you set eyes upon their tiny face. Realizing at that very moment their vulnerability and your lioness instinct to protect. It’s about the need to be with them every waking and sleeping moment. The desire to be part of every new experience, accomplishment and adventure. The yearning to protect them from every fall, hurt and unkind word. Being a mother is about unconditional love, knowing your child is not perfect, but loving them for who they are, who they want to be and who they turn out to be. It’s about guiding, nurturing and teaching. Celebrating the successes no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to others. Having expectations for your child to rise up to and encouraging the baby steps because that is what your child can do today. Being a mother is about giving a part of yourself like you’ve never given before. About the amazingly huge amount of love, fear, pride, hope, respect, anger, responsibility and so much more. It’s about always having room for more. For one more day, one more month, one more year…… one more child. Being a mother is about having enough room in your heart for the overwhelming love you have for one tiny person that has just been placed in your arms.

Happy Mother’s Day!


In the words of Aretha Franklin “All I’m asking is for a little respect”

What exactly is respect? Well I suppose it can be many different things to many different people. In our house it’s always been about being aware of what other people’s needs are. They need to feel important, they need to feel heard, they need to feel understood, they need others to be pleasant to them and to take care of them and their property and they need to feel appreciated.  Now with that said, I expect you will say “Boy people are needy” and you are probably right, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because it can keep others on their toes.