By Barb Vasiloff

"The best gift a father can give his family is to show respect for his wife." I can't remember the source of that quote but I do know that even as a child the idea was attractive to me.

There were certain words that were taboo in our household. Words like 'shut-up', 'hate', 'liar' as well as cuss words or profanity were never okay. Actions such as hitting, pulling on others, grabbing things, shouting, hurting others in any way were always discouraged. My parents modeled the behaviors they expected the four children to use. Their respect for one another was visible on a daily basis.

They also modeled and encouraged respect  for educators and education by their actions.

Teachers were held in high esteem and if one teacher did things differently from another their strengths were highlighted not their differences.

My mom told the teacher she would believe only 1/2 of what her children told her about school if the teacher would believe only 1/2 of what she heard about home life.

This mutual respect continued even when there were conflicts. The attitude, "What can we do together" to fix this problem helped us as children to not play one adult against another. We knew all sides of the story would come out if a conference was needed. And the children's side of the story was never taken unconditionally as the truth. "Let's just find out the teacher's point of view." was a familiar saying.

When I reflect on this now, I realize that the message that came across was that teachers and parents were advocates for children not adversaries. Do your actions communicate this lesson to your children?

Reproduction of this article in whole or in part allowed with proper credit given to:

Discipline With Purpose
3406 Hurstbourne Ridge Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40299