Parenting Vivian | 24 Feb 2010 01:00 am

Learning Respect For Adults

I wanted to write about something wonderful that my 14 year old son did for me yesterday. He bought me a bunch of flowers. Big deal you say. Well, actually for me it was enormous. You see, I am a divorced person with four children, three of them boys.

Did the boys ever see my ex husband buy me flowers? Possibly a few times but it was definitely not the norm. Did the kids see their dad treating me with respect? Not always. In my opinion the boys saw a pretty crazy interaction between husband and wife. And yet, three and a half years down the track, my 14 year old son voluntarily spends his own money buying his mother a beautiful bunch of yellow tulips.

It nearly bought me to tears. Not the fact that I received a present, but the fact that obviously something has been sinking in about the way that women need to be treated. The boys have a younger sister and I am very careful to let them know that women need to be treated with dignity and respect. Whenever the boys treat their sister in a rough way or rudely I let them know that it is NOT OK. I ask them to apologize and they do.

I also talk to my boys often about the need to treat their mother as they would want to treat a future girl friend. I think I saw a glimpse of that yesterday with the flowers that Kieren so lovingly picked out for me. They are absolutely gorgeous. Needless to say I made a huge fuss over him and told him how they made me feel.

I asked him why he bought them for me and he said that he thinks I am special and I deserve them. How sweet is that? I have no doubt that when Kieren gets a girl friend he will know how to treat her, as he is practicing on his mother and I think that is great.

It will become second nature for him and it will be so easy when he does get a girl friend. He makes me feel so proud. But more than anything he feels proud of himself which is even better.

So, that’s my story. Even though my kids might not have had the best role models prior to my divorce (now I am meaning both parties here), it is possible to turn things around by consistent hard work and lots of encouragement. I have a champion in the family and he knows it. On ya, Kieren. Keep up the good work. Love ya!

Kim Patrick is a single mum with four children who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She is author of the book, “Get Your Child To Behave In 30 Days Or Less.” For more information on how to get your child to behave, you can go to

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