Respecting Others

Several parents have asked me lately about how to help their children learn to respect them and other adults in their lives.

It can be as simple as this: children learn respect from you and the other adults in their lives. We respect people when we admire, appreciate and hold them in high esteem. When you are polite to others and treat them with courtesy, you are modeling respect.

For children to learn respect, you need to respect them first. You need to see them by looking them in the eyes when you talk to them and when they talk to you. You need to listen to them and hear what they say and reflect that back to them. If you have to tell them no, be sure you explain why.

If you respect your child, your child will respect you.  If you respect others, your child will respect them, too. Remember they hear everything you say, respectful or not.

Allow them to be partners in your family organization, encourage them to make suggestions and to take responsibility. Take them seriously and empower their self respect. This will benefit the whole family in years to come.

Talk about the people you respect and why you respect them – their honesty, kindness, responsibility, etc. Tell them about your role models, have them think about who their role models are.

There are so many great resources to read – go Google “teaching children respect” and explore on your own. It is well worth your time and effort and will pay off in years of happier parenting.