One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect and the best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is.
Keep in mind the saying "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don't have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it's almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers.
Schools teach children about respect, but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it's unlikely they will show it anywhere else.
How can you show respect to your child? If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize. Don't embarrass, insult or make fun of your child. Compliment them and let your child make choices and take responsibility. Listen to your child's side of the story before making a decision on an issue or problem. Be polite and use "please" and "thank you" when asking them to do things. Knock before entering your child's room. Keep promises. Show your child that you mean what you say. And give your child your full attention.
And most important, teach your children that respect is earned. Make sure that you are leading by example and modeling respectful behavior. Be a law-abiding citizen. Show concern for your environment, animals and other people. Openly and honestly discuss exampled of witnessed disrespect.
In addition, teach your child to respect themselves. Self-respect is one of the most important forms of respect. Once we respect ourselves, it is easier to respect others.
Help them set and achieve goals. Encourage honesty and teach them that people make mistakes, and that they are the best way to learn.
Most importantly, praise your child often for good deeds, behaviors or traits, and tell them you love them at least several times each day. You're sure to raise a child capable of giving and gaining respect.
Here are some more resources about respect:
Workbook with SEL prompts to improve the way your child treats others
Lesson and Reflection Questions about Empathy and Respect
10 SEL Prompts about Accountability
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