Respect: How To Teach It And Show It


By: Steve McChesney

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect.

Keep in mind that respect is not the same as obedience. Children might obey because they are afraid. If they respect you, they will obey because they know you want what's best for them.

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?

Children learn from everything we say and do. Make sure that you are modeling respectful behavior. Some of things you can do are:

When you set rules at home, explain to your child why the rule is important. For instance, if the rule is "No TV between 4:00 and 6:00" it is because this is homework time and homework is important to keep grades up in school.

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.

Your opinion means a lot to your child. If you believe your child can succeed, they will believe they can as well.

Build their independence. Give them responsibilities as soon as they can handle them.

Help them set and achieve goals. Their self-respect will skyrocket when they see themselves achieving those goals.

Encourage honesty. Let your child know that they may be able to fool some people, but they can't fool themselves. There is no pride in stealing, cheating, or lying.

Most importantly, show love! Say "I love you" often and give plenty of hugs and kisses.

If your child makes a mistake, remind them that they are still loved.

Age affects children's respect. Children and adults deserve respect at every age. Here is a guideline based on age:

Steve and Lisa McChesney publish a daily self-esteem building and motivational newsletter. Visit them at http://www.bullyfreekids.com/.

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