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Respect

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Apply Larger Doses of Love
and Care During Difficult Times

How do you accept your child's conduct when you don't agree with it? We are reactionary people. When we see something in another person that disappoints us we can have a variety of reactions. We can overlook, ignore, complain, lecture, threaten, panic, or we can confront with honest feelings about how we feel about the incident. Using the "I" statement, we can address the behavior indicating how it (the behavior) makes us feel. We cannot tell the other person how they should feel. If we have convincing information that our child maybe involved in a gang, how do we react?

As parents, we love our children unconditionally. We love the person, not the behavior. It is parents, who have firmly disciplined their child showing love, respect, and giving open communication through their growing years. This helps them and us to deal better with those difficult times. Even though the child may be older, the parent can still demonstrate meaningful caring ways.

Tips for parents to lovingly reach out with care and respect, even though the youth may be involved in a gang, are:

Make lemonade out of lemons. Take those mistakes (yours included) and learn from them. They can be wonderful opportunities to break any communication barriers with your child.

Source: D. Bond, D. Drain & S. Simonson, for Family Information Services, Minneapolis, MN © July, 1994. Reprinted with permission.

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