Respect (my wife and) your mother

August 24, 2011 under Syllabus 2011-2012


As a child’s independence is developed, mothers are often treated poorly by their offspring. This can be particularly difficult for moms. How do we, as fathers, act to support our wives during this time?


Each of us goes through a period in our teen years where we begin to establish our independence as an individual. This development of our independence often includes us abruptly distancing ourselves from those we have been very dependant on, most of all, our mothers. Talking back, ignoring, and ultimately condescension of our mothers provide a “safe test” of our ability to be independent, because mothers always “take us back.” We, as husbands and fathers, need to stay involved in this mother-child relationship. We need to let our child know that before their mother was their mother, she was our girlfriend, then our bride. We need to create a family environment that lets the child know that we love and support their mother, and expect them to do the same. With our wives, we must delicately manage the child’s growth and independence, while avoiding a breakdown in relationships.

Bible Readings

1. Sirach 3

Children, pay heed to a father’s right; do so that you may live. For the LORD sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. He who honors his father atones for sins; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother. He who fears the LORD honors his father, and serves his parents as rulers. In word and deed honor your father that his blessing may come upon you; For a father’s blessing gives a family firm roots, but a mother’s curse uproots the growing plant.

2. Luke 27-35

He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Catechism Readings

1. Paragraph 2217

As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. “Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.

As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Small Group Questions

1. How do you deal with issues of “respect” in your family?

2. Have you discussed with your wife how you will handle disrespect from children?

Recommended Resources



3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T ….find out what it means to me! Aretha Franklin


1. Talk to your wife about how you are or will handle respect issues. One parent handing out punishment and then asking the other for support after the fact can be challenging.

2. Demonstrate to your children that you and your wife are a “team.”

3. Referring to your wife as your “girlfriend” or “bride” changes the perspective of children being disrespectful of your wife….try it.


Reid Rooney / Kevin McDonough

Included Resources

Respect- How to teach it and how to show it

by Steve McChesney

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect.

Keep in mind that respect is not the same as obedience. Children might obey because they are afraid. If they respect you, they will obey because they know you want what’s best for them.

The best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is.

Keep in mind the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed.

A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.

Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.

How can you show respect to your child?

Be honest – If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize.

Be positive – Don’t embarrass, insult or make fun of your child. Compliment them.

Be Trusting – Let your child make choices and take responsibility.

Be fair – Listen to your child’s side of the story before reaching a conclusion.

Be polite – Use “please” and “thank you”. Knock before entering your child’s room.

Be reliable – Keep promises. Show your child that you mean what you say.

Be a good listener – Give your child your full attention.

Children learn from everything we say and do. Make sure that you are modeling respectful behavior. Some of things you can do are:

Obey laws – Follow rules. Be caring – Show concern for people, animals and the environment.

Avoid poor role models – When you see examples of disrespect, discuss them. (more)

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