There are various tips on how to teach a child respect but, teaching a child respect in a cruel and disrespectful world like this can be quite difficult.
Nevertheless, instilling respect in your ward/children is the duty of every responsible parent.
This is because; a respectful child will in turn be a reward to their parent.
Respect means treating other people the way you would like to be treated, and acknowledging the thoughts and opinions of others.
It also means behaving in a polite manner, but how do we explain that in terms our children will understand?
Thomas Lickona, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and author of How To Raise Kind Kids, defines respect as “showing regard for the intrinsic worth of someone or something.
But in the main sense, what is the best way to inculcate respect in your kids?
When children learn respect early in life, it helps them relate with people in a dignified way.
If parents teach and model respectful behavior, they end up imparting sound lessons on compassion, kindness, love, consideration, honesty, and gratitude towards others.
That’s why beyond formal education parent need to strive to teach and show their children and ward how to be respectful.
Why A Child May Be Disrespectful
There are so many reasons why a child is being disrespectful, I mean, no one learns respect from the womb.
but rather it’s an act that is consciously or unconsciously inculcated into us as humans, same is the case with little children as well.
So, when you discover that your child is being disrespectful either to you or people around them then there must be a reason for that.
Below are some factors that aid disrespect from a child.
1. Your Child Is Being Childish
It’s not in the cognitive habit of a child to be respectful because most of the time, they will always act silly.
So one of the reasons why your child may sometimes act disrespectfully is because they are being childish.
And that’s why at this point in time; they need your guidance and moral teachings on how to be respectful to others.
2. Your Child Is Copying Others
Children are quick to instill habits that they see others portray.
The behavior of peers around them will in turn have a great effect on their lives.
Sometimes, it may not even be their close friends; it may be a visiting relation or a family member who has stayed long around them.
And when people like this display acts of disrespectfulness to others, your kids might quickly infuse these habits into themselves as well.
3. Your Child Is Going Through A Tough Time
When your kids begin to experience some change in their life pattern they tend to sometimes forget about their home morals and act disrespectfully.
They may be going through a new face like a change of school, a change of environment, or a loss of a loved one.
However, this doesn’t totally signify that they have changed totally; it’s just that situation that is taking a toll on them.
Tips On How To Teach A Child Respect
1. Teach Them What It Means To Be Respectful
As a parent, you’re the first teacher of your kids.
That is, they are quick to learn what they see you do.
So, if you’re willing to raise respectful children you should be ready to show them respect at all times and this requires being respectful to people around you because it sticks to their subconscious mind.
Another way to teach them what it means to be respectful is to make them understand the usage of some terms and their meaning.
Show them some respectful actions, it could be as little as making sure they use the five magical words (thank you, excuse me, please, sorry) whenever they need to.
Be a role model to them. Let them see you show respect well.
Do this to them and see how respectful they will turn out to be.
2. Speak Politely To Them
Your children are watching your actions.
And of course, you can’t expect them to respect you when you don’t speak to them politely.
It starts by talking and correcting them in a polite manner.
We all know how difficult kids can be at times nevertheless, speak to them the same way you would speak to an adult you want to be polite to.
When they see that you refer to them in a polite manner without using cruel or harsh words, they will in turn do the same to others.
3. Value Your Kid Choice
Another awesome way to teach your children respect is to show them that their choices are valued.
This gives them a sort of independence and of course, allows them to have their own point of view on issues.
It could be as little as what should we have as dinner tonight? Which dress would you want to wear?
Doing this will make them respect their choices and the choices of others too.
4. Resolve Conflict Amicably
Trust me, your children watch the way you handle conflict.
What do you do when there is a clash between your children? How do you talk to them?
Even if they do the most annoying things, don’t take sides, don’t punish one, and leave the other.
Let them see you resolve issues in an amicable way without hurting the other person.
5. Teach Your Kids Manners
There is no other way to teach your child respect than to teach them manners.
Tell them to greet the person they meet on the doorways, to say sorry when they are wrong and not to use cruel words on people.
And most importantly, teach them to respect people’s choices.
6. Pay Attention To Them
Who knows, the reason why your child might be disrespectful is because they don’t know what respect truly means. They may try to be respectful but don’t know how to do it.
Ask them questions as well and make sure that there is nothing left out that you don’t know about them.
7. Teach Them To Respect Themselves
One of the tips on how to teach a child respect is to tell them to first show respect to themselves.
This starts by validating their choices and telling them to love and value themselves first.
When they do this, respecting people won’t be difficult for them.
8. Discipline But Don’t Punish Them
Also one of the cogent tips on how to teach your child(ren) respect is that you discipline but don’t punish them.
What do I mean?
A lot of parents don’t know where to draw the line between discipline and punishment.
If your child is disrespectful, tell them that their behavior is not good enough.
Tell them what they have done, and how it was disrespectful.
Discuss how that act made you feel, and how they would feel if the same was done to them.
Don’t go as far as making them do weird things or giving them punishments beyond their age.
This will only make them disrespectful the more
9. Teach Them To Expect Respect
Let your child know that respect is reciprocal and that people are meant to return the same level of energy that they give them.
So when they are being disrespected by people they give respect to, teach them to always voice out and ask for respect in return.
What To Do When Your Child Is Disrespectful
Having a disrespectful child is every parent’s nightmare; it could lead to embarrassing moments for such a parent so, it is best to know the right thing to proffer whenever your child shows signs of disrespectfulness.
Here are some calm and practical measures to take:
- Get the right knowledge about what it means to be respectful and teach them.
- Consider if they know what it means to be respectful, if they don’t, inseminate it into them.
- Warn them as much as you can
- Be consistent in teaching them respect
Kids are going to do disrespectful things, no doubt about that.
But knowing how to handle a situation like this is one of the things that defines your parenthood.
Teaching your child respect is all about showing them what respect is all about. As you do this, it sinks into their subconscious mind
I hope you’ve been able to gain nuggets on how to teach your child respect.