How to Teach Kids about Respect


Do your kids respect you or perhaps more importantly, do you treat them with respect? Respect means honoring others and treating them with kindness or operating from the belief that others have just as much value as you do.

Try these tips for helping your children understand what respect means.


Tips for Teaching Respect


1.   Be a good role model.

Are you treating your spouse, kids and others with respect? You can’t expect your children to treat you respectfully if you are not setting the tone and holding them in high regard. The Golden Rule applies here. Treat others the way you want to be treated.


2.   Honor the value of each child.

To convey respect means letting your children express their opinion, even if you don’t agree. Listening to them, uninterrupted says I respect you enough to listen even though I might have a different opinion.


3.   Expect respectful behavior.

Let your children know how you expect them to act. Say to them “in our home, we treat others and our property with respect.”


4.   Notice disrespectful behavior.

When you witness your children acting disrespectful, bring up what you see. “I noticed that you treated your friend bad.” Or, when you see others being disrespectful, use words like mean, antagonistic and rude. “That was quite rude when she ignored her friend. What did you think about that?” Do not tolerate this behavior in your home.


5.   Acknowledge and encourage respectful behavior.

We all know that positive feedback usually yields more positive results. When you see the behavior you want more of, notice it and voice it. “You certainly respected his desire to play legos when you really wanted to play super heroes.”


6.   Teach them respect for belongings.

We want our children to value their personal belongings as well as others’ things. For example, if they want to borrow your iPad, let them. Say “feel free to use it as long as you return it in 30 minutes.”