Teaching your Children Respect
Children aren’t born with a built-in sense of respect for others – they need to be taught how to be respectful. While each child might have a different personality, showing respect is vital when it comes to parenting and goes a long way towards being able to function properly in the world when they are older.
Sadly, it has become the norm for children these days to be disrespectful and we often see children and teens arguing with adults or ignoring them outright, copping an attitude, using foul language, and not being polite to elders.
Another phenomenon that has become evident is that many parents don’t see their kids in a realistic light and aren’t able to note both their strengths and their areas of weakness, allowing them to see inappropriate behavior as it happens and address it.
As a parent or a guardian, it is vital to change the culture in the home whereby children learn to be polite and respectful to their elders. Here are a few things you can do as a parent to start teaching your kids to be respectful.
1. Your child is not your friend
It’s important to remember that your child is not your friend—he or she is your child, and your job as a parent is to coach him/her to be able to function in the world. This includes teaching him/her to behave respectfully to you and to others. When your child becomes an adult, this relationship might change, but while they are young, there need to be boundaries.
2. Catch disrespect early
If your child is rude or disrespectful, don’t ignore it. Try and catch disrespectful behavior early if possible and begin to implement your plan to change this behavior. Always try to give consequences for their actions when your kids are younger – this will pay off in the long run.
3. Teach your child basic social interaction skills
As old fashioned as this might sound, it is important to teach your child basic manners like saying ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me.’ Children need to understand that using manners is also a form of empathy, which teaches children to respect others and acknowledge that behavior has an impact on others.
4. Be respectful when you correct your child
Monkey see monkey do. Your child ultimately learns their behavior from you, so as a parent, when your child is disrespectful, you need to correct your kids in a firm, but respectful way. Do not let your child’s behavior upset you – pull them aside and give them a clear message in a quiet and respectful manner.
5. Get in alignment with your partner
It’s imperative for you and your partner to be on the same page when it comes to correcting your child’s behavior. Make sure one of you isn’t letting disrespectful behavior go unchecked while the other is trying to intercede. Come up with a plan of action and implement it together.