What Is Respect?
Respect is an attitude of high regard for someone. It can also be referred to as the expression of polite behavior towards somebody.
If your goal as a parent is to raise a good child. One of the things you have to take seriously is learning how to teach a child respect. You should learn how to teach a child respect because respect is not inborn but learned also teaching respect to children when they are very young helps them to grow into well-behaved children that are humble and tolerant of others.
Starting the process of learning how to teach kids respect is not so much of a challenging one since it involves you understanding your child. To effectively kickstart this process of teaching kids respect, you have to, first of all, understand what is respect for kids after which you can proceed to learn how to explain respect to a child in the simplest ways possible if the child’s initial idea of it was a wrong one.
There are several respect activities for kids that you can try out to make the whole process more interactive and fun.
How To Teach Kids Respect
When it comes to how to teach a child respect, the following tips will come in handy.
1. Be Firm When Making A Rule Against Rude Behavior
Children often turn rude behavior into a habit when it is not immediately corrected. Correcting a child on his/her wrong isn’t enough, you have to be firm and see to it that you ensure that the behavior is never repeated.
2. Make Them Apologize
This is a unique way to teach your kids respect. Making your kids apologize when they’re wrong gives them the idea that bad conduct is not accepted in the home. They’ll develop a sense of responsibility for their wrongs and gradually get used to change.
As little as children may seem, they do understand to an extent. You will have to paint mental pictures of their wrong behavior and explain why it isn’t good. Children learn faster with the idea of pictures in their head than you shouting at them.
4. Tell Them Stories About the Consequences Of Disrespect
Tell them stories of kids that disrespected people and the consequences they had to face because children like visuals. When you create an image or picture of the consequences of their misbehavior, you’ll give them something to ponder on when they feel tempted to do wrong as they’ll turn that story into a mental picture that will guide them all the way.
5. Give The Kids Appraisals
When your kids do something good always appreciate them. Make them feel that they’ve done the best thing on Earth. They’ll be so happy and want to get more appraisals from you.
6. Make Them Watch Cartoons Or Programmes That Encourage Respect
When you make your kids watch cartoons and programs that are based on respect, it will make the children want to follow suit. Kids easily learn from what they watch.
7. Reward Some Good Deeds
I reward my kids when they do amazing things that show they have a good sense of responsibility. I either buy them gifts or give them a treat by making a special meal that they’ll love. I noticed that doing this for them makes them want to do their best.
8. Use Of Sign Language
Some kids know when they’ve done something wrong or have been disrespectful simply by the use of sign language from their parents. This is even more helpful when you are in a public place or you have people around and don’t want them to know what is going on.
It makes kids adjust and correct themselves immediately without the parents having to say a word about it. It’s effective and most times unnoticed by guests or visitors as the kids immediately refrain.
9. Set Realistic Expectations For Your Child
Make realistic rules for your kids to follow and them recite these rules at home. This is to enable your kids to remember these rules when they are in public places.
10. Demand Good Manners
Your kids need to learn good manners from their early years. Always listen to them carefully when they speak to know if they are exhibiting good manners as you’ve taught them. Constantly remind them to add basic respectful words Such as: Thank you, please, am sorry, and others as they have learned.
How To Explain Respect To A Child
The following are the several ways you can make kids understand what you want them to learn at their level.
1. Illustrate Its Impact On Others
One afternoon, Gerald found Kay’s favorite ball in their backyard. He kept it and didn’t want to return it.
Gerald’s mum while cleaning up Gerald’s room, found a ball not belonging to her son. She kept quiet about it intending to make Gerald realize that it’s wrong and the impact it’ll have on Kay.
Gerald’s mum called out to Gerald in the living room and told him a story about her job and some missing files. After hearing the story, Gerald felt remorseful and told his mom what he had done. Mum then made him return the ball to Kay with an apology.
2. Be An Example To Your Child
Children learn from the people around them. As a parent, you need to model respect and other good habits to your children because children tend to do what you do than what you say.
I noticed that my kids tend to imitate me or anyone who is around the home so I try my best to do the right thing always. I usually wait at the door for the return of my husband from work at exactly 5 pm daily.
Gradually, I noticed my little girl got used to this act and walks to the door at about this time and any knock on the door at about this time will make her exclaim “daddy”.
Children often learn whatever is done in their presence consistently. For more important details of how you can be a good example to your child read this article: How To Raise A Good Child In A Decaying Culture.
3. Make Them Use Polite Words At Home
There is a saying that “charity begins at home”. Always make your kids use polite and respectful words at home. It will enable them to gradually get used to it.
4. Teach Them How To Show Gratitude
Always make your kids say “thank you” when something is given to them by anyone including you.
5. Always Make Them Say “Please” Whenever They Want Something
I taught my daughter how to say please before demanding something from the moment she could speak. She got so used to it that if she needs anything now she’ll say “mummy please”. Then I’ll have to ask what do you want? She’ll then place her demand and conclude by saying “please mum please”.
6. Teach Them How To Say Sorry
Always make your kids say “I’m sorry” when they offend you or anyone else.
7. Commend Your Child’s Respectful Deeds
Teach your child how to respect by commending him or her for the respectful and good deeds he or she has done recently. When a child is being commended for an effort or deed, it will make that child feel special and that child will want to always feel that way by trying to do more commendable deeds.
8. Your Method Of Communication
Always try to be conscious not to react out of anger in the presence of your child. If you talk to people rudely, certainly your kids will always want to exhibit that too.
9. Never Use Foul Language
One easy way Children learn is to repeat whatever you say either back to you or someone else. Any language/word you use on people or that you use to describe situations to the hearing of your kids will stick with them forever.
10. Never Say Bad Things About Someone In The Presence Of Your Child
This is a common mistake parents often make. They feel their children are little and will not understand their actions. So they unleash their grievances about someone or bad-mouth someone in the presence of their children. It will, first of all, seem like the child wasn’t listening, but as time goes on, that child starts to act funny towards that individual. Gradually it will lead to the child’s lack of respect for people as disrespecting people will start to seem normal.
11. Be Reliable And Accountable
Always keep to your word about a plan or activity made to people especially your children. Children often look up to their parents as their role models. According to Joy.C.Solomon – “Whatever you model to your children is what model they’ll become. So you should try to keep your promises to your children, as they’ll learn and also do the same.
12. Understand And Consider
Sometimes you need to try to understand your kids. It is not easy being a child. Let their opinion matter in some things. Show them respect and they’ll in turn respect you.
What Is Respect For Kids?
How to teach a child respect is a question that can easily be answered when parents understand what respect is to kids. Often parents think that their children are the only ones who need to show respect. But sincerely, you need to respect your children too. According to Joy .C. Solomon – “The value you place on your children will determine the value that people will place on your family”.
The following are ways kids see respect.
1. Property Management
As a parent, manage your property and that of your kids well. When your kids see that you respect them enough to keep their belongings well, they’ll learn and subsequently do the same to you and others.
2. Respect For Kids Can Be Taught By Showing Your Kids Respect
Kids learn more from actions and reactions than words. Whatever you do to your kids, trust that they’ll do the same to others because it’s in their nature.
Two weeks ago I scolded my daughter for telling me a lie. Only to find out that she was saying the truth all along. After I realized my mistake, I had to apologize to her and see that she had forgiven me. I did this because children too deserve respect.
3. Respect For Kids Is When You Care About How Your Actions And Inactions Impact Others
Respect is centered on care. If you care about how words and actions affect someone, you’ll say or do things with a polite and humble tone.
4. Be A Good Model To Your Children
Respect can be said to be looking up to someone or modeling someone’s character because of that person’s personality and its influence on your daily life. Do not practice whatever you don’t want to see in your kids. You are the image your children are looking up to. So be a good model to them.
5. Allow Them To Do Things By Themselves
One unique way to teach a child Respect is by allowing them to do some things themselves sometimes.
Jessica is a three-year-old who loves to care for herself by doing things herself like: putting on her socks, underwear and selecting her outfits as well as her hairstyles. Mrs. Jesse (Jessica’s mum) sees her daughter as a child as she is and rebukes her for these actions. Countless times, this reaction from Jessica’s mum has locked her in her shell.
This became an issue and sometimes lead to an argument between mother and daughter. After much counsel from a family friend, who is a psychologist, she decided to give her daughter the chance to make her choice even if she wasn’t okay with the idea.
Within months, Jessica could suggest good deeds just to get appraisals from her mum. She started becoming independent as she could now go to the restroom herself, put on her socks, and even feed herself.
6. Speak To Them Like Adults Sometimes
Oftentimes parents see their kids as children and forget that they’re learning and growing up each day. I remember once telling my daughter to stop doing something and that she’s too little for it. And she surprisingly said, “I’m a big girl mum”.
It made me laugh but it made her try her best to prove it to me as she started talking responsibility for herself. So you should speak to your kids as grown-ups sometimes. Respect them as you’ll do to another adult.
7. Appreciate Them In Details
Telling your child well done isn’t enough. Appreciate them in detail for their actions.
If your daughter accompanies you to the garden and picks up some fruits, don’t just say – “well done”. Thank her for the action using words like “you picked up those oranges neatly. How beautiful! thank you, darling”. You’ll see a more excellent smile and zeal to do more next time. And if you have a kid like mine, she’ll tell the whole town.
8. Give Them Time
Always give your kids time to talk, walk, eat and do things at their pace. Do not rush them.
9. Do Not Enforce Change On Them
Teach them skills, but do not enforce change on them. Allow them to learn crafts, baking, or any skill they may be interested in. Do not impose on them anything they’re not interested in.
10. Allow Them To See Capabilities In Themselves
Give them the opportunity needed to learn new things or skills that they can master by themselves.
Respect Activities For Kids
1. Let Them Do Things For You
All their lives they have watched you do things for them and they want to emulate you. Allow them so they’ll understand better. This reminds me of when my little girl wanted to pass the drinking glass to her dad. “You are being too forward,” I thought. She broke the glass as it slipped down her “tiny” hands.
The next day, we were about to make lemonade when the next thing I saw was “this same girl” picking up my drinking glass again to pass it on to her dad. I was about yelling when I watched her carrying the drinking glass with so much concentration using both hands to hold the glass gently until she handed it over to her dad.
I then realized that she had learned from her mistake the previous day and wanted to improve and act like me. I was amazed and I commended her.
2. Story Telling
Kids easily adapt to this learning method as it helps them to paint mental pictures of what you’re trying to teach them. Kids love stories, storytelling about respect will work on them.
3. Make A Good Chart Showing Respect
This is fun and at the same time a good way of educating a child about respect. It can be designed with cartoon characters showing the manners you want them to learn.
This is amazing as you get your kids to identify when they do something respectful or not.
Mitchell is a three-year-old who was recently taught manners. Her mum made her evaluate herself whenever she did anything. On a visit to her uncle’s, Mitchell picked up a candy that wasn’t hers and was about to open it when she looked at her mum, and to the amusement of everyone watching, she said aloud to herself “bad habit”.
This singular action signifies that Mitchell has developed good self-evaluation sense and skills.
To show respect to others is the best way to teach respect not by shouting, yelling, or speaking aggressively. Respect is reciprocal. When you show respect to your kids you get respect from them in return. Remember respect is not inborn, it is learned. Teach your children respect today and you will be proud of them tomorrow.