Parents are often confused about how their children should view them. Most parents would say without hesitation that they want their children to love them. But, fear…that’s another issue altogether.

Some parents want their kids to fear the consequences (punishment) for their misbehavior. Other parents actually feel their children should fear them physically. Both of these concepts miss the point.

Children should fear something, but it should not be physical harm or punishment. Rather, our kids should fear losing our respect and approval. Parents who are able to instill this brand of “fear” will be rewarded with more respectful, thoughtful, empathic kids, and down the road, more successful young adults.