Six Techniques to Teach Respect
Everyone wants and needs respect… even our children. Oftentimes parents complain that their children just don’t show respect. Maybe we as parents, need to look at the way we are teaching respect. Teaching respect can be difficult, so why not try being a living example? Research proves that children learn 95% by watching the behaviors of others and only 5% of what is taught by instruction. So, what is the best way to ‘teach’ your child respect? Simply by modeling a respectful life for them to imitate. Try putting the six techniques below into action and hopefully you will start to see a change in your child’s behavior!
Before you can teach your child to respect anyone else, you must first demonstrate how to respect yourself. Taking care of your body by eating right, not abusing alcohol or drugs and getting plenty of rest and exercise are all important. Take pride in your appearance and dress respectfully. These all demonstrate that you respect yourself and show your child that he must learn to respect himself first also!
RESPECT YOUR CHILD
Some people believe that because children are smaller than we are and have less experience, they don’t have the same feelings or rights. But they do. The same things that would embarrass or humiliate us, hurt our children also. When we scream, threaten, shame, criticize, and hit our children they shut down. They will only record and model what they experience. Remember, how we treat our children is how they will also treat others.
THE GOLDEN RULE
Start early and teach your child to treat others as they wish to be treated. Toddlers are incapable of putting themselves in someone else’s place, but you can begin by teaching them how to care for their books and toys. Sharing is also another way to teach respect. Talk frequently with older children about feelings, differences of opinion, and tolerance.
Let your children see you behaving kindly towards others. Expect that they too perform acts of kindness such as donating used toys to a shelter. Be extra careful about how you speak in front of your children. Avoid harsh, judgmental, and critical language. Quickly move to correct your children if they call names, make fun, or insult someone-even their sibling! Showing concern by asking how their day is going, or offering a compliment is a great way to demonstrate kindness and respect.
The flip side of exposing your child to appropriate behavior is to protect them from inappropriate behavior. Although we cannot safeguard our children from every negative influence, we can make it a priority to monitor disrespectful television, radio, and video games.
When you observe your children behaving in a respectful manner, be sure to acknowledge and praise them. This teaches that we value these behaviors. Besides, being respectful of others will also make us feel good about ourselves.