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Respecting Your Kids


We want our kids to be respectful, right? Nobody has ever said while holding their baby, “I hope this little mess grows up to be a complete terror that treats adults like garbage!”

We want to hear the, “Yes ma’ams” and “Yes sirs” and “Please” and “Thank You’s” flowing from the lips of our little ones. We want to hear this, because know how important it is for our kids to respect those around them. We want them to show deference to those older than them, and we know how this helps our kids gain influence with adults.

Want to know my strategy for getting my kids to show respect to others? I show respect to them.

It begins with asking my kids to do what I do.

If I want my kids to respect others, then I must respect them. I’m not exempt from offering thanks, keeping my word, being on time, and saying please when appropriate. I don’t say “Yes sir” to my kids, but I try to never let a good thing go unthanked. I always say please, even if it’s not a question and more of a parental command.

Sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? Yet when I listen to parents talk to their children there is an alarming lack of respect towards their kids. Be warned parents, those kids you show little respect for will someday be as tall as you! Set the tone from an early age, and start fighting for the relationship with your kids when they still think what you say is golden.


Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.