Honor and Parenting

Scott Turanksy

Honor changes the way people think, the way we act, and the way we treat others. Honor motivates us as parents to treat our children differently. It gives children more constructive ways to interact with their parents. It helps siblings develop tolerance and patience. Honor builds a strong bond that, in turn, benefits all members of the family.

childrenwritingathomeHonor adds that little bit of grace that transforms family life. It focuses on others and produces stronger relationships. It's not as concerned with protecting a reputation as it is with doing what's right. Honor is motivating and contagious and treats individuals as special. It brings joy to others but has a special reward for those who give it. Honor is like the oil in a machine, making it possible for the job to get done with less friction and less conflict.

If you simplified the definition of honor, it might look like this: Treating people as special, doing more than what's expected, and having a good attitude.

Kathleen's Example

Consider the experience of Kathleen McDonald, a single mom, and her four-year-old daughter, Jill. Jill had a problem with complaining: "I can't find my jump rope," "I'm bored," "Nobody wants to play with me," "I don't want this sandwich," and on and on. Kathleen also developed a bad habit of nagging. "You're going to be late," "Close your mouth when you eat," "Your shirt's not tucked in."

I didn't realize how much i naggedKathleen didn't like what she saw in herself. "I focused so much on my daughter's complaining that I didn't realize how much I nagged. Seeing our negative patterns discouraged me. I began to make changes, though, and became more honoring." She set limits for Jill, gave firm instructions, and followed through. As a result, Kathleen was able to stop nagging. "I was then able to show Jill how to honor me in return. I explained to her that complaining is dishonoring and that no one wants to listen to that kind of moaning and groaning. I taught Jill how to talk about problems in a more constructive way. Honor's done a tremendous amount for our relationship."

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