The One Question This Mom Asks Her Son Every Day to Get Him to Respect Others
One of the most important lessons parents have to teach their children is how to properly respect other people. Whether that means learning how to take turns going down the slide on the playground or not interrupting Mommy while she tries to do business over the phone, all children eventually come across a situation where respect is necessary and it’s the parent’s job to prepare them for when these instances arise.
As reported by Yahoo Beauty, mom Nisha Moodley is starting the respect lesson early with her 6-month-old son, Raven, by instilling a sense of body awareness in his daily routine.
“Since the moment he was born, we’ve always asked before we pick him up,” she wrote in a now-viral Instagram post. “Why? Because we want him to know that his body is his, and that others’ bodies are theirs, and no one gets to make choices about someone else’s body.”
Some may wonder how such a young child can understand the question and respond properly. Nisha admits it was hard to interpret her son’s answer at first but, after asking the question repeatedly, she claims he can reply.
“There have been times where Raven has responded by reaching his arms out for a hug or turning his head or body away,” she said.
While she can understand Raven’s actions, certain social situations have proven difficult, prompting Nisha to gently explain her tactic to those around her.
“If Raven seems like he doesn’t want to be touched, I just explain to the person, ‘Give him a few minutes—he may just want Mommy now,’” she told Yahoo Beauty.
Even though she has met some criticism for her unorthodox parenting strategy, Nisha insists that, in an age in which unwanted sexual actions occur daily, she is doing the right thing for her child.
“I don’t ever want my son to be a sexual perpetrator or the victim of one, and the best thing I can do is honor his choices about his own body,” she said. She continues by explaining that his own physical preferences are important as well. “I also want him to pay attention to his instincts, and forcing physical touch could interfere with that.”
Parenting expert Sharon Silver feels Nisha’s tactic is a positive one, representing a modern form of parenting.
“This idea is part of the wonderful RIE parenting philosophy, which is essentially respecting a child’s timetable and allowing him or her to experience the full range of consequences as the result of a decision,” she reported to Yahoo Beauty. “It’s the underlying premise of positive parenting.”
With such an innovative form of parenting comes a certain amount of responsibility, though, with Silver stating that parents often burn out and stop reinforcing certain behavior as their children get older.
“Some parents trap themselves because they don’t follow through on correcting behavior and wind up losing power,” she said.
Even if this new method is not for you, it gives us an important reminder: Body awareness and respect of others is a necessary part of life in which kids should be well-versed and of which they should be aware.