A simple technique we employ is make the child try again! If the child says something disrespectful to say, “That was disrespectful, why don’t you try that again in one minute.” This timeout of sorts make the child reflect on a better way to address you while you carry on about your business. Also, tag team defense is the great way to handle this. If Melissa is having a conversation with one of our children and they are disrespectful to her, I will sometimes interject and say “Don’t treat my wife like that! If you can’t treat her with honor and respect in your words, you will show her by folding some laundry (or chose a chore/punishment).” Melissa likewise will interject for me. This shows the children that the marriage is central, solid, and the focal point of family harmony.
With older children, like a 9 year old, you can have them write some verses that explain their fault. When they treat you disrespectfully, you could use Proverbs 30:17, Proverbs 6:20-22, Proverbs 20:20 and Ephesians 6:1-3. Don’t forget the training mindset. Your children must not be allowed to disrespect you, because it is their sin. Confront it as such, and bring God into the conversation. Have them apologize to you and to God when the situation is resolved. Melissa and I recently removed some privileges from one of our children due to disrespectful behavior. She has apologized and made amends, but we haven’t removed the discipline yet. She will endure it until she has shown sustained progress in this area. With older children, disrespect is contagious and can spread to your younger children. Teach your children to model good behavior to their siblings. You may have them explain their wrong doing to their siblings if the disrespect happens in front of them. This way, the child can show what they have learned and show their sibling that it was not acceptable behavior, and you will prevent future recurrences or the perception that this behavior is acceptable.
Lastly, try to give your child a safe outlet to express gripes and complaints. Train them to do it respectfully, and you might be surprised to hear what they have to say. You could become the world’s greatest parent in no time!