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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Respect: The Secret to Successful Family Relationships

                                                      Stephanie Modkins

Please join me in welcoming Stephanie Modkins, Guest posting today. I thoroughly enjoy reading Stephanie's articles. She is my friend and a very well-versed person.


Stephanie Modkins (writerdotcom2@yahoo.com) is a professional freelance writer specializing in web content ranging from relationship advice to home remedies. Her educational background is in social science, Zoology, insurance and African-American studies. She obtained a bachelors degree from the University of California, Davis.

Respect: The Secret to Successful Family Relationships

For years, as a Christian adult, I fought with my older brother. No, we didn't strike each other physically. Our punches were emotional 1-2-3's. There affects hurt more than a bruise and lingered around for much longer too.

One day, following a misunderstanding, we had a heated argument - a knockout drag out - that lasted for an hour. After abruptly hanging up on him, I began to pray. I wanted the Lord to show me what was wrong with him. Instead, God pointed a finger at me. In that moment, a still small voice said, " you don't respect your older brother. You're part of the problem too." And guess what? It was true.

I held my brother’s past against him. Throughout his 20s, he made a lot of mistakes, errors in judgment that put a financial strain on our parents. Yet, years later, he’d matured and improved himself. For this, he deserved admiration.

Unfortunately, disrespect is common in family units. As the old saying goes ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. So, what can you do to prevent yourself and other biological ties from falling into this trap? The answer: develop a pattern of respect in your household. Below are three ways to achieve this feat.

  • Support individuality. No one in your family should feel like the ‘odd ball’. His or her differences should be celebrated not used as a platform for criticism or mistreatment. Remember, most great people don’t blend in with the crowd.

  • Set parameters for fights. Curse words, ancient history and below the belt comments should be banned from any verbal disagreements. Anyone who violates this rule should be confronted regardless of whether he or she is right.

  • Focus on what’s right. Why is it good to be a (your family’s last name)? Concentrate your family’s energy on the answer(s) to this question. It’s much easier to honor another human being when you’re happy to be connected to them.

If you incorporate the above into your family dynamics, you’ll see that everyone treats each other better. They are how me and my older brother finally called a truce. I learned to respect him and vice- versa, which led to peaceful relations without all of the drama.

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