Being Human

Posted by Idaho Youth Ranch on Jan 18, 2018 12:00:00 AM


3 Reasons Apologizing to Your Child Is Important

One of the most common mistakes parents make is attempting to maintain an aura of parental perfection, fearing that either kids will use mistakes against them later, or won’t respect their authority. It can be scary to be vulnerable and “human” in front of your kids by apologizing and admitting fault. But it’s also one of the most important ways you can form a healthy relationship based on mutual respect. Kids need to understand that sometimes even parents make mistakes, and that you’ll take their feedback and feelings into account when you make an error or treat your child unfairly. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent--just a parent who respects his or her child enough to say “I’m sorry” when mistakes do happen.

Do as I Do: Modeling Respectful Behavior for Children

Posted by Idaho Youth Ranch on Jan 5, 2018 3:12:00 PM


Have you ever been angry with your child for acting exactly like you? Don't worry- you are not alone! Here are a few helpful hints about setting a good example for your child.

Do as I Do: Modeling Respectful Behavior for Children


We’ve all heard the expression “Do as I say, not as I do.” But with kids, especially younger children, just the opposite is true. While words are important, actions and example are a far more powerful force for good--and ill--when it comes to helping children learn to be respectful and considerate of others. 

“Modeling” is a very simple concept with big implications for raising kids. Put very simply, it means showing rather than telling your child the behavior you want him or her to develop. For example if you hope to raise children who are polite, respectful, and kind to others, a sit-down chat is less important than politely thanking the attendant at the gas station, resisting the temptation to speak badly of the waitress when your water glass isn’t filled promptly, or bringing a meal to a neighbor who just had surgery.


Compelling Data for Modeling

Did you know that children whose parents smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves, as compared to children whose parents don’t smoke? Karl Hill, director of the University of Washington’s Seattle Social Development Project says of the study, Some parents say they disapprove of teenage smoking, but continue to smoke themselves. The evidence is clear from this study that if parents don’t want their children to start smoking, it is important for them to stop or reduce their own smoking.” 

The same principle applies to other behaviors and words kids see parents use on a regular basis. Telling children to “use their words”--but losing your cool every time someone cuts you off in traffic--sets the stage for children who hear one thing but see another, and that example will usually win!


Modeling Back to Kids

Modeling positive, respectful behavior isn’t enough if it’s modeled to everyone--except your kids. While it’s important to model kind, considerate behavior toward others, it’s just as important to show your kids the same respect and kindness you encourage them to show others. Modeling is proven to be the most effective method of teaching behaviors- good and bad. 

If you encourage your kids to say “please” and “thank you,” model this behavior by thanking your children and asking them to do things by saying “please.” Are you concerned about the tone your children use when speaking to you, their siblings, or others? Carefully examine and monitor the tone you use with your children--especially when you’re frustrated or feeling overwhelmed. Hearing a parent direct positive, constructive speech and actions toward them empowers children to internalize and model these patterns and behaviors themselves, in addition to feeling respected and valued. 

Modeling good behavior isn’t always easy, and nobody is perfect. But taking a close look at the behaviors and attitudes that you are modeling for your children, and making a renewed effort to model kind, respectful words and actions, can make all the difference in helping your children learn how to navigate life and relationships well.


Fear and Respect: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Idaho Youth Ranch on Jan 4, 2018 2:08:00 PM



The words “fear” and “respect” go hand-in-hand in the minds of many parents. In fact, confusing these two concepts is the No. 1 mistake we see parents make at the Idaho Youth Ranch--which is why teaching parents the difference between fear-based and respect-centered parenting is one of the key ways we help rehabilitate families.