How to Teach Kids Respect – the Science!

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Effective ways to teach respect to a disrespectful child so they can grow into a respectful adult.

It’s so frustrating when your kids aren’t showing you respect, especially when you have a power struggle over different opinions. If your child is still young, you should start teaching your child respect today.

The good news is that we can make a few easy changes to our interactions with our children that will ENCOURAGE a respectful connection between them and us.

When parents make a conscious effort to demonstrate respect for their children, they are more likely to follow suit.

The golden rule of Positive Parenting is the belief that younger children ought to be treated with dignity and respect – in other words – model respect to get mutual respect.

What Is Respect

Let’s look at a few different situations.

You’ve arrived to a restaurant. A woman at the adjacent table shouted at the server, snapping her fingers.

“Wait a minute, you brought the wrong food. Why aren’t you paying attention? Now go find the appropriate food for me. NOW.”

What do you think of this individual and their not so respectful tone?

I’m not sure about you, but I believe she’s not doing a respectful thing here. Why does she believe she has the right to speak down to him and show such disrespectful behaviour?

Most human beings I know would never do such a thing to another person, whether they are friends or strangers. However, some of them believe they have every right to speak to their children in this manner.

A mother could yell at her kid, “Hey, I warned you not to do that. Why aren’t you paying attention? Go ahead and take a break. NOW.”

Can you spot the irony in these two examples? Why is there such a disparity between how we treat others and how we treat our children?

So take a deep breath and find a positive way to handle children that show a lack of respect and other negative behaviors using positive discipline.

See also: Managing Defiance: You Are NOT The Boss Of Me

Definition of Respect for Children

Respect is when you admire or look up to someone because they have done something remarkable or have impressive talents. Respect may also be defined as the act of paying attention or expressing concern.

As a result, the notion of respect extends beyond just responding “Yes, Sir,” “Yes, Madam,” or being obedient when it comes to little children.

Respect must come from inside, and you cannot compel someone to respect you.

Ways to Teach Children Respect and Politeness

Suppress Disrespect by Asking For Respect

I was irritated and frustrated by all of the disrespect, manipulation, and copping an attitude.

Respect for others should be a basic principle that all children are taught, but when people who do not share those beliefs are present, disrespect may spread like the virus during the cold season.

What had happened to the polite children’s I was raising, I wondered? Where did we make a blunder?

The problem is that disrespect has grown into a greater social issue than we know, and our children are picking it up at school, practice, and on the playgrounds.

While we were doing a lot of things right at home, we were also allowing some bad habits to creep in. When the children returned to school and learned new things, their attitudes, talking back, and disrespectful behavior worsened.

Disrespectful behavior is another way to encourage kids to do what they want, just like crying and fussing did when they were newborns.

Consider this: from the moment they are born, all they know how to do to get what they want is cry, scream, whine, and complain. It works because it is their sole means of communication until they learn to communicate in other ways.

As kids grow and their brains expand, it becomes a parent’s responsibility to teach them respectable ways to communicate, act, and behave in order to meet their needs that do not include the methods that worked for them as newborns.

When we teach and model respectful behavior, we are instilling fundamental values such as kindness, thoughtfulness, honesty, empathy, and appreciation.

While you may have a firm foundation of manners and behavior when you first start out, it’s simple for children’s to fall off track when they’re among other people. Fortunately, with a little guidance from Mom and Dad, it’s just as easy to get back on track.

We were able to immediately improve our situation at home.

  • Re-instilling excellent manners and rewarding them for being courteous.
  • Before we went anyplace, we established behavior expectations.
  • When we see or hear disrespectful behavior, we act immediately to stop it. Waiting does no one any benefit, and it certainly does not teach any valuable lessons!
  • Respect was openly spoken, and it was reinforced via books, movies, and family talks about being open-minded.
  • To acquire respect, you must first give respect.

See also: What Causes Children To Become Ungrateful

Teach Manners

Manners education begins with toddlers and is not a one-time event. When taught early and regularly, being courteous becomes ingrained as a basic way of life.

You may encourage your children’s behavior by helping them understand cues and complimenting them on their exemplary manners.

When my husband and I saw that manners they’d grown accustomed to weren’t present in our daily encounters, we spent a lot of time reminding (ego state) them to say “please” and “thank you,” as well as encouraging them to assist in holding doors open for others, and then rewarding them. We also discussed the importance of good manners and how much we valued their civility, and we were soon back on track.

  • Saying “thank you” after receiving, giving, or exchanging anything is an example of good manners for children.
  • When you’re asking for aid or would want to obtain what you desire or need, say “please.”
  • When you welcome someone or if they are chatting to you, look them in the eyes. (After toddlers have mastered please and thank you, work on eye contact.)
  • Greeting individuals with a simple “hi” or “goodbye,” as well as replying to their greetings.
  • Using the words “I’m sorry” or “pardon me.”
  • Allowing others to pass through by holding the door open for them.
  • Waiting for their chance to speak rather than speaking over them.

See also: Brilliant Ways To Teach Kids Respectful Disagreement

Set Realistic Expectations

It’s a good idea to set some boundaries ahead of time. Review your expectations and what proper manners are before heading out in public.

If you’re going to a restaurant, for example, speak about good restaurant etiquette and a penalty if they don’t act correctly. Simply be prepared to carry out the consequences if necessary.

Setting expectations for your children ahead of time allows them to know what you anticipate of them. If they perform an excellent job and there are no issues, congratulate them and give them credit.

You may also establish limits for playtime, around the house, and other activities.

See Rude Behaviour And Stop It

I overhear bratty behavior such as name-calling and harsh language every time I assist in my children’s classes. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is very typical these days, and as a result, it’s all too simple to brush it off and get on with our day.

The difficulty is that we create an inadvertent problem when we just roll our eyes over this type of behavior or because we have such hectic lifestyles that it is difficult to respond promptly to our children’s every action.

We can’t expect them to quit if they aren’t held accountable for their actions.

Because they believe it’s OK to have an attitude and sass other people, we’re enabling our children to speak in this manner to their friends, relatives, and even other authority figures.

That’s why it’s critical to stop such behavior in its tracks and teach children that disrespectful behavior is never acceptable.

If you’re not sure if your child is crossing a boundary, think about it and see how you feel.

“Would I allow my friends to speak to me in this manner?” Would I allow my neighbour to speak to me in this manner? Would I allow my spouse to speak to me in this manner?

If the answer is no, then your child should not be speaking to you in this manner, and it’s time to teach him or her that such behavior is inappropriate.

Take a stand and say:

“In this family, we don’t talk to one other like that.”

If you notice your child acting disrespectful, it’s critical to intervene as soon as possible.

See also: Affirmations and Statements for a Growth Mindset In Kids

Correct The Behaviour

There’s no need to shout or snap at your child if they’re being rude and you need to reprimand them.

Choose to see this as a chance to show them how to be courteous by being respectful yourself. It’s not beneficial to have your own attitude in reaction to theirs. It will just worsen the issue and encourage even more rude behavior.

Instead, make sure your child understands what is and is not appropriate. You don’t have to humiliate or yell at your students to be a successful teacher. Put your child to the side if you’re out in public or with friends or relatives.

This is a learning opportunity, and you may go on if you’ve established a firm and clear expectation, as well as a set of consequences if the behavior persists. If you must carry out the punishment, do it in a respectful manner without yelling or shouting.

When you speak and interact with your child, make sure you’re in front of them and looking them in the eyes. It’s rude to your child to shout an order from another room since it’s simple to disregard (I’m sure you’ve seen how well children’s don’t listen to you when you don’t ask them gently or stand in front of them). You can’t be a good role model for your child if you don’t show kindness, self-control, and respect.

See also: How to Correct Your Child’s Behavior with Connection

Teach Kids Expression

Although it’s never okay to hit out at another person when talking to a child about why they’re upset, jealous, angry, frustrated, etc., you may help them express their feelings by utilizing I Feel Statements.

  • I’m annoyed because…
  • I’m envious because…
  • I’m angry because…

Keep finger-pointing remarks to a minimum since being with You or a Name helps children to express their feelings.

  • You’re acting like a jerk…
  • You are a jerk!
  • Jessica is a spoiled brat…

Listen and be a sounding board for your child, correcting them if necessary to use I Feel Statements, but mostly listening and empathizing with their feelings to validate them and demonstrate you’re on their side.

  • Can you tell me more about what’s going on? You seem a little agitated.
  • You must be really angry right now; could you tell me what occurred to make you that angry?

See also: Introduction to Needs and Feelings – What Makes Us Do What We Do?

Keep An Open Mind

Respecting people involves recognizing that you won’t get along with everyone, or even like them – and that’s fine – but you’ll still be polite and open to hearing their side of the story.

Keeping an open mind helps children to see things in new ways – life, variety, activities, new friends, and so on. Learning about other people’s perspectives, interests, and hobbies might introduce kids to new ways of thinking, and who knows, they could even hit up a conversation along the way.

Consider your children’s interest as a chance to teach him about tolerance and respect for others.

There are several ways to accomplish or think about anything, and maintaining an open mind will benefit you.

The same could be said about diversity. Other children may not look like your kid, but by being courteous and keeping an open mind, your child will learn that we are not all alike, which is not a negative thing.

What is your role as a parent?

To educate your child that even if they aren’t friends with another child, they are entitled to the same level of respect as a friend or family member.

It’s critical to introduce children to a variety of cultures, ethnicities, foods, books with varied characters, and customs so that they may learn about things that aren’t found in their immediate environment and perceive the larger world as a place filled with opportunity and discovery.

See also: How To Teach Mindfulness To Kids

Teach Kids To Take Care Of Their Things

With a son who enjoys dismantling, rebuilding, and reassembling objects from around the house, teaching him to respect our possessions has been a long process.

We can offer children a deeper appreciation for all the hard work that went into those purchases, as well as a sense of thankfulness if we educate them on how to treat the house and their things with care.

How to instil respect for one’s house and possessions:

  • Explain to kids what makes something valuable. If your child steals a ball from the neighbor’s yard without asking, explain why the ball is essential to the neighbour and that it is his property. Another example is taking flowers from your neighbor’s yard and explaining that she plants the flowers to beautify her yard, and that if the flowers are plucked, she would no longer be able to view the blooms she worked so hard to plant.
  • When it comes to toys, less is always more. The less stuff they have, the more they will respect and appreciate them.
  • Make a list of the rules you’ll follow when utilizing things in your house.

See also: Reason Your Kids Constantly Push Your Buttons

Model Good Behaviour

To acquire respect, you must first give respect.

What better method to teach a behavior than to mimic the desired behavior?

Respect them to show them how to respect others. I’m not talking about addressing them as sir or madam or bowing to them. Simply treat your child like a person, just as you would other adults.

Some parents’ desire to have total control over their children’s behavior and preferences is absurd. Although most of us are not as severe as this, we nonetheless engage in some form of preference policing. However, if you want your child to respect you, you should accept their choices first.

Everyone has their own tastes in music. My little one isn’t a mini-me and doesn’t like the same things I do, as much as I wish she did. My child has her own preferences. If I don’t agree with what she wants, I’ll explain why. But, in the end, she must learn to make her own judgments. I respect her decision as long as it does not jeopardize her safety or health, is not (overly) financially draining, and does not harm others.

Every individual has the right to think and like things in their own way. Children should be included in this.

Children feel heard and valued when their differences are embraced. They witness firsthand how to deal with people who hold opposing viewpoints. They learn to respect individuals regardless of their differences.

When it comes to the adolescent years, this awareness and tolerance for diversity will be extremely crucial. That’s when everything Mom and Dad say will seem ridiculous to them, and you want your child to learn to tolerate you while still respecting you!

See also: Facts About The Diathesis Stress Model In Parenting

Don’t Take Your Child’s Behavior Personally

Taking their children’s behavior personally is one of the most common mistakes parents make. The reality is that you should never fall into that trap since your neighbour’s teen is doing the same thing to his parents. And your cousin’s daughter is abusing her parents in the same way. Every child has disagreements with their parents. Your job is to be as impartial as possible while dealing with your children’s behavior.

When parents don’t know how to cope with these situations effectively, they may feel powerless and fearful. As a result, people frequently overreact to situations or underreact to situations.

See also: Are You Offended By Your Child’s Behaviour?

Teaching Kids How To Show Respect

Disrespectful treatment of children will only cause them to lose faith in us (think about the mean boss example above). If you’re lucky and your children aren’t very stubborn, you might be able to elicit momentary cooperation from them, which may appear to be respected.

However, this is not the case.

Years later, when they’re all grown up, you could be perplexed as to why your adult children no longer respect you. They most likely never did. When they were children, they were just obedient. Since their childhood, you have demonstrated a lack of regard.

After asking my kid a million times not to create a mess, I did ponder whether I should simply take the “easy” path to spare myself some time and stress. But every time I was tempted to take such a shortcut, I reminded myself of how much I despised being treated in this manner as a child, and how it would only gain me disdain.

How do you educate a teenager to be respectful?

If you observe any disrespectful behavior, call it out gently and respectfully and encourage them to try again. Sometimes they don’t notice since that’s how they communicate with their pals.

How do you teach your children to respect their parents?

Having a good role model of respecting everyone, including the child, is an excellent method to educate children how to respect others, especially their parents.

My parents don’t respect me. What should I do?

I’m really sorry if your parents don’t respect you. Everyone, regardless of age, needs to be treated with dignity. I feel that even if someone is disrespectful to me, I should still be courteous. Not because I admire that individual, but because my actions represent who I am.

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