I often hear people say that their kids don’t misbehave with them because “they don’t play that” as opposed to their behavior when they’re around others. I don’t physically discipline (i.e. hit) my children (and they are not “unruly”). There are many people who do and feel it’s okay. While I am not here to criticize those who do, I will say I don’t feel hitting ANYONE ever helped them to be better. In fact, there are scientific studies that show using violence (verbal and/or physical) as a form of discipline only teaches children/people to be violent in order to get what they want. In my experience and through my own research, I’ve found that children who are harshly criticized or punished for displeasing behavior only hide that behavior from those who do the criticizing and punishing. ( side note: just because the behavior displeases you doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.) This is done out of fear. They are either afraid of being or feeling unloved, hit, or harshly punished. This does not equal respect or trust. When people in general feel safe they are able to be themselves completely. They tend to hold back when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. My 11-year old son taught me this valuable lesson first and it has helped me to grow. Through observing and having open conversations with my children I am able to see things more from their perspective. Many times unpleasant behaviors are deemed as disrespectful. It’s possible that the child or person is reacting/responding to the energy you are giving off. As “authority figures” sometimes we need to check OURSELVES and evaluate the energy we give off. As humans, in general, it’s important to be aware of our behavior toward others, as their behavior toward us may very well be a reflection of that. To expect trust and respect when we don’t give it seems a bit one-sided. I do my best to make sure my children feel they can trust me to love them no matter how they behave. I may not like the behavior at times and will deal with it accordingly. However, I don’t withhold love or affection from them because of it. Children often exhibit their most undesirable behavior to those they trust he most because they know it’s safe to do so without the fear of unfair and unnatural consequences. Be love.