Remember kindergarten when your daughter’s teacher was a saint in her eyes? Back then the teacher knew everything. Your daughter adored her.

In middle school, well, not so much.

As kids mature and reach an age of discernment, they also learn to be critical. They might begin making fun of their teachers or testing their boundaries in new ways. As parents it’s our job to teach our kids to respect authority—even if that authority supposedly smells like cat food or hums out of tune.

Here are a few important points to share:

 

God commands us to respect authority. Why should we respect our teachers? Because God says so. Plain and simple. Respecting your teacher is obedience to God.

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you” (Hebrews 13:17).

 

Christians should love others. How do we show the world that we are Jesus followers? By praying? By reading the Bible? By singing worship songs and attending youth group? Those are all great activities, but they are not the mark of a true Christian. Can you guess what is? Loving others—including your teachers.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

 

We all have flaws. Whenever your child is tempted to point out a habit or character trait she dislikes about her teacher, gently remind her that no one is perfect, yet God loves us all. Encourage her to accept her teacher’s human faults just as God accepts her own.

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7).

 

Pray! Perhaps your daughter feels her teacher treats her poorly. In that case, you may need to consider addressing the issue with school administrators. But first spend some time with your daughter in prayer, asking God to give you both wisdom and strength to forgive. Then ask God to bless and equip the teacher to guide students in an honorable way.

“Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28).

 

Throughout the school year, keep an open line of communication between you, your daughter, and her teachers. And be aware of how you represent God in each of those relationships. The best way to teach respect is by example!