How can you teach your kids to be respectful? Both respectful to you and to other kids and adults?
The answer is that YOU have to model the respect.
You can make a few simple tweaks to the way you interact with your children that will ENCOURAGE a mutually respectful relationship.
When you make an intentional effort to model a respectful attitude for your children, they are more likely to mimic it. The idea is that children deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
Here are Effective Ways to Teach Kids Respect:
1. Stay calm and don’t overreact when you “think” your child is being disrespectful.
To teach respect, first, we need to stay calm and stay in control. Identify if this is a real “disrespect” situation, a misunderstanding or simply because the child hasn’t learned the proper response in such situation.
2. Identify the cause for disrespect and focus on teaching problem-solving alternatives.
When genuinely being disrespected, we should pay attention to the circumstance instead of going off on the child, “You are being disrespectful!”
Ask your child why he or she is acting that way.
3. Model how to be respectful by respecting your kids first.
What better way to teach a behavior than modeling the behavior you want to teach? Show them how to respect by respecting them. Just treat your child as a person in the same way you treat other grownups.
When children’s differences are accepted, they feel heard and respected. They see first-hand how to treat others who have different opinions. They learn that they should respect people despite their differences. This understanding and tolerance for differences will become especially important when the teenage years come.
4. Use kind and firm discipline to teach, not to punish.
Discipline means to teach or to train, not to punish. It doesn’t have to be punitive. In fact, studies have shown that positive discipline is a lot more effective and longer-lasting than punitive strategies.
If we discipline using a menacing or stern tone when our kids have done something wrong, we are showing them how to be cruel and harsh to those who make mistakes.
5. Give respect to earn respect.
Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Parents spend so much effort, time and money to care for their little ones. Their entire lives changed and started to revolve around their children the moment they were born. It is only natural that we expect kids to respect their parents.
But little children don’t understand all this. And to be fair, they didn’t ask us to do all this! We ourselves decided to take on these responsibilities.