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Respect: How To Cultivate A Respectful Behaviour In Your Children


When we embark on the road of becoming parents, we experience a rollercoaster of emotions, looking ahead and worried about keeping our children safe. 

There’s that loop about wanting to be able to provide for them, about providing our children the things we wished we could have but couldn’t. But there’s also that niggling fear in the back of our thoughts about what will happen when our children reach the age of adolescence. 

Consider what you were like as an adolescent. Was there a power struggle or mutual respect between you and your parents? When our children are young, the thought of having them respect us is usually in the back of our minds. 

It is rarely a problem. Aside from the occasional tantrum, everything is rainbows and unicorns. Isn’t learning to tie your shoelaces more essential than learning to respect others? No way, no how!

Also read:  Tantrums: Why Kids Have It and What To Do About It

In actuality, one of the most crucial virtues that a young child can learn is respect. It can aid in the development of positive relationships with other children in the neighbourhood and at school. 

Learning to be more tolerant of differences allows them to be more understanding when people do not act or behave in the way your children expect them to. Respect helps children concentrate better in class. Most importantly, it can help to strengthen relationships within the immediate family.

These are all characteristics we want for our children, and they are also characteristics of a leader. Teaching our children respect sounds wonderful. But first, what is respect, and how exactly do we teach respect to our children?

What Exactly Is Respect?

Respect is a manner of understanding and valuing other people’s rights, opinions, behaviours, and differences. It entails more than simply being accepting of others. It’s an inside feeling about how you should treat other people. 

It’s also about how you should perceive yourself. Respect has recently been increasingly obvious with the idea of respecting other people’s personal space as a result of the epidemic.

Respect helps our children make better judgments and avoid things or people who will harm them. They are more likely to look after the items you have purchased for them. Most significantly, as adolescents get older, they are more likely to earn rather than demand respect from their parents.

How Exactly Can We Teach Children Respect?


In my opinion, you should not outsource the teaching of respect to others. As parents, we must accept this obligation. Even at an early age, there are many negative impacts on our children’s attitudes toward respect, such as bad role models in movies like Frozen

In this film, Elsa refuses to accept responsibility for her powers, harms her sister and kingdom, and avoids displaying any respect throughout the plot. So, where do you begin when educating children about respect?

1. Teach Your Children the Value of Sharing

Sharing is an excellent approach to teaching children about respect. Our children learn that if we give a little to others, we can occasionally get a little of what we desire. Children will observe what their parents do. 

Do they pass stuff around at the dinner table, such as ketchup, or do they share food? Or does everyone pull out their phones, sit in a silo, and disperse quickly? Sharing lessons can be learned at the dinner table, but so can games with the kids.

Playing games like Lego is a terrific method to teach children about sharing and respect. You can construct a simple and enjoyable tower together, taking turns adding pieces to the structure or switching elements if you are creating your own universe.

2. Allow Your Children to Speak for Themselves

We are not showing our children respect because we do not value their opinions. It’s possible that they simply take longer to express themselves in a new scenario. We rescue our children because we believe they are bashful or lack confidence. However, if we do this frequently, we will stifle the flow of respect.

Allow them to strive, think for themselves, and be patient with them. They won’t always respond, but you’ll be surprised to find how often they’ll persist in communicating in their preferred manner.

The issue is that when we interject for our children, one of two things can happen:

We stress that their perspective is unimportant, and/or we rescue less socially confident (shy) children from an uncomfortable situation that prevents them from acquiring future skills.

Instead of doing things for our children or answering their questions for them, let them answer, struggle, and think for themselves. 

You’ll be surprised at how much their sense of personal significance grows. Respect will flow more readily when children are more confident and capable, even in difficult situations.

The key is to not make a big deal about whether or not they speak up. Allow them some time to attempt, then continue if no progress is made this time. Perhaps there will be progress the following time as their confidence builds.

3. Be A Good Role Model

Leading by example is the most difficult approach to teaching respect. Let’s face it: we all believe that our children should “do as I say, not as I do.” However, this is rarely the case in real life.

4. Be Patient With Them

When our children act “out of sorts,” it’s often because they’ve forgotten or missed the cue to demonstrate the appropriate behaviour. We’ve all been so engrossed in a task that we missed hearing our name called, or we’ve been sleepy and responded poorly out of instinct. If this is the case, we must sometimes be patient with our children. 

It’s the proper approach to show them respect—asking appropriate questions, especially if they make a mistake—rather than snapping and insisting that they listen the first time. We are their parents, after all, and they must obey!

You’ll know when your child says, “I detest you” or “I wish you weren’t my mother or father.” You may even hear this from your children as young as four years old. 

Remember that movie I mentioned? Children will imitate what they see and hear. It does not imply that they truly intended what they said. 

When you’re upset, it’s usually just a gut reaction. “What made you feel this way?” you can respond. They will typically feel better and receive a more effective answer than if you use the phrase “go to your room right now!”

So leading by example entails more than just being a role model. It is also about showing your children respect and respecting them as individuals rather than attempting to completely control them. 

5. Define Respectful Language and Behavior

Explain to your child what words and actions demonstrate respect and which do not. Don’t, however, bombard your child with a list of things they must and must not say or do.

Instead, teach them as you go by gently addressing rudeness and providing a suitable substitute.

6. Consider Whether They Are Aware Of What Is Appropriate.

The younger your child is, the more difficult it will be for them to apply a concept to all scenarios. If you teach your child that they must say please and thank you to Grandma, they may not be emotionally mature enough to apply the same rule to Grandpa or other family members.

If this is the case, continue to educate and model the appropriate behaviour, and explain that it can be applied in a variety of scenarios.

7. Maintain Consistency

Try to be consistent in your expectations, regulations, and the potential repercussions of disrespectful behaviour, as you should in other aspects of parenting.

You may assist your child to be more respectful, avoid unnecessary confrontation, and remain calm in the face of hardship by applying these hints and tips.

8. Discipline, Not punish

Initially, instead of punishing your child for his or her disrespectful words and actions, give them the opportunity to earn privileges.

We are not discussing paying your child to perform well. Instead of saying, “We’re not going to the park if you don’t put your toys away,” phrase it differently.

“We will only go to the park once you have put your toys away,” try saying. If you put it off too long, we won’t have time to go to the park.”

This may appear to be a little distinction, but by avoiding confrontation, you will be demonstrating appropriate, courteous behaviour. Furthermore, you will reduce the likelihood of a power conflict.

9. Set Realistic Goals For Your Child.

Setting limits ahead of time is beneficial. When you go out in public, think about your expectations and appropriate manners.

For example, if you’re going to a restaurant, discuss the right manners for eating at a restaurant as well as the consequences if they don’t act appropriately. Simply be prepared to face the consequences if necessary.

Setting expectations ahead of time informs your children of your expectations of them. If they do an excellent job and there are no issues, certainly applaud and credit them.

You can also establish boundaries for recreation, around the house, and so on.

Children must learn that the world does not revolve around them and that they must consider others in their actions.

10. A Little Outsourcing Could Be Beneficial

Although I previously stated that you should not outsource teaching respect, some activities can make a significant difference. 

Training with a buddy also helps you improve. It teaches your child responsibility for their outfit, training equipment, and even the academy itself. Our pupils clean the mats on which they train, put away equipment after each activity, and stand quietly at attention. These are excellent life lessons that will instill respect in your children.

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