May 14th, 2017
We know what it means, why it’s important, and we definitely know how to spell it. However, it doesn’t make it easier to convey and instill the virtue of respect in our children. Respect is a big concept that encompasses many, if not all the values that makes up a decent human being. Without respect, there will be no kindness, empathy, courtesy or dignity. To make things harder for parents, our children are being bombarded by a constant stream of anti-respect messages through television, movies and music. Thankfully, you are not alone. While schools and religious organisations do their part to instill value in children, the actual job of cultivating respect starts at home. Here’s are some things you can practice with your children to teach them respect:
1. Make it a habit
Demanding your children say their please and thank yous may sound harsh, but constantly reminding and repeating helps condition their behaviour. With time, it will become ingrained into their behaviour and good habit.
2. Establish Rules
Setting boundaries and house rules teach children that the world doesn’t revolve around them. It establishes that there are consequences for their actions. If they can’t follow the rules at home, you’re allowing them to disregard any authority figure they may encounter outside of home, like at school.
3. Encourage open-mindedness
Just like everyone, children have the right to prefer some people over others. It’s perfectly normal, however it’s not okay is hurtful name-calling and bullying. Explain to your child that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and help them understand the importance of giving people a chance. This in turn will encourage empathy and teach them how to resolve conflict.
4. Explain value
Respect doesn’t just stop at people, children should also learn how to respect their possessions and that of others. Teaching them to respect their toy and books develops a sense of appreciation and encourages to them take care of their belongings.
5. Walk the talk
Our children may not listen to everything we say, but they will emulate our behaviour. Show them how it’s done by respecting their feelings and choices. Dismissing them or treating them disrespectfully will only make them lose respect for you. No one is perfect, and if you do make a mistake, don’t be afraid to apologise to your kid. Doing so will show them that respectfulness also means taking responsibility and admitting mistakes.
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