Respect begets respect that’s what they usually say so we think it’s safe to conclude that to teach kids respect we should serve as an example. But, we admit that sometimes it can get a bit challenging.
Etiquette and manners are important for kids to catch on as early as possible and as parents or guardians, it’s our responsibility to get them off the right track. Respect is something that will help them later on in life and so teaching them how to be respectful to everyone (without exception) is like teaching them a valuable life skill that will help them gain friends and form lasting bonds. Here are a few ways on how to teach kids respect.
What Is Respect?
What is respect? If you’re going to take a look at its definition in the dictionary then respect is this sense of admiration towards somebody or something due to their/its inherent ability, achievement, or qualities.
The other definition which is more or else appropriate for the respect that we should teach our kids is that respect is someone’s regard towards the feelings, rights, status, or tradition of another. In a nutshell, it’s basically how you treat people regardless of their affiliations.
A child that’s growing up is going to almost emulate anything that they see from grown-ups and so this is where it can get tricky. That’s because their opinion of others shapes their opinion of respect later on.
That’s why it’s important to set the right example while they are still young for they will grow to be respectful people.
Set The Right Examples Early On
There’s a pretty effective way to teach your kids respect. Be the example. Monkey see monkey do, use the art of imitation. Teach them to be respectful by not teaching them to be disrespectful, to begin with.
As much as possible, be polite around them. It would also be important to hear them out and respecting their decisions and if you can’t for some reason, let them know why in once again, a respectful manner.
This is where they start to learn good manners that they will take with them as they grow up. Another crucial part of teaching kids respect is during conflict resolution. You need to make sure that you are gentle to them but be firm in letting them understand the reason why they can’t do this or do that and why what they just did cannot happen again.
Oftentimes, when grown-ups resolve conflict the wrong way, kids will remember that and emulate such behavior.
How To Handle Kids That Talk Back
Kids will talk back, that’s a given but it’s in how we handle when they do so that determines things moving forward. We, as the guardians need to make sure that we should always, as much as possible, respond appropriately.
If they talk back then make sure to stay composed but be firm. You need to be gentle but at the same time, let them know who’s in charge and that what they are currently doing (talking back) isn’t right.
And, for you to prevent your kids from talking back in the first place, try to look for patterns, monitor them, and dig deep into the reason why they do so. You need to be on top of things and not let your kid handle situations on their own.
Learn some talking points like, “I think there’s a better way to say what you just said” and prevent responses like “Don’t be such a brat!” that and yelling will almost never work. When you do, you’re just setting an example that talking back is the best way to circumvent things.
What About If They Are Just Flat-Out Disrespectful?
Oftentimes, we really can’t control things and maybe your kid picked up a few nasty habits from the things that they watch or from other people and they still find ways to be disrespectful.
This where it needs a little bit of investigation. Give them your full attention and find out why they are acting this way. Nowadays, kids are so fond of their devices, maybe start from there, check what they watch, and try to filter but not be too restrictive to hinder their curiosity.
Learn how to identify teachable moments. Every so often there can be a teachable moment that arises and sometimes, you get to let them make decisions. Again, talking points to your child is important, ask the right questions, “Why do you think this person did this? Was it the right thing to do? Or was it wrong?”
If they disrespect you or others, ask them again, “Was what you did the right thing to do in that situation?” Let them in the conversation, the more they realize that they are a part of the decision-making process, the more they learn to listen to others and practice respect.That’s why you should make sure that how to teach kids respect.
Help Them Observe The World Around Them
Sometimes, your examples alone won’t be enough to let them learn respect and so we need to show them the world albeit carefully. Immersing them in new things, culture, and other kids should help them socialize and learn respect.
Once they are in a different setting from what they’re used to then their character should show and develop for the better. Bring them to a nice playground, restaurant, or even social gatherings where their interests may be piqued.
They will have a ton of questions after and so we should be ready to answer them. We can’t simulate everything for them so let the world teach them a lesson or two.
From these social gatherings, they will then pick up different social etiquettes that you can bet that they will emulate. Simple things like saying “thank you”, “please”, or “sorry” are valuable to learn early on.
Make Sure That They Can Get Rewards For Good Behavior
Lastly, we need to make sure that we recognize their good deeds and manners by giving them the appropriate reward for it. We’re not really talking about toys right away or treat but maybe something like “You did really well” affirming that what they just did was the right thing.
It pays to be respectful, so as they say, start them young!