Give Respect to Teach Respect

Parents are the first role models for their children and play a big role in the way a child learns how to develop healthy relationships and become socially adept. The best way to teach your child is by doing that which we would want them to do. Social traits must be taught at an early age. Children who are socially adept develop a strong sense of self-belief and worth and also treat others with respect. 

Kids Watch You! 
You need to treat your child with respect for him/her to learn to treat others in the same manner. Respect for others allows them to be generous and empathetic to others. Laura Holman Byrne, author of Tater Tot, believes that there is nothing more important than teaching children to have respect for themselves and others. Children do not always understand how to treat others, especially other children in their age group. Help them understand that the rules for respect apply to everyone, young and old. Here are some ways that can help children learn how to be respectful to others. 

Do Not Overreact 
The first reaction most parents have at their child being disrespectful to them is to overreact. What they need to do instead is to stay calm and speak to the child to understand why he/she behaved in that particular manner. Often, while working, we tend to yell out instructions to or order the child and then react if they are not followed. However, remember, that by yelling out instructions or orders, we are guilty of not respecting them in the first place. It is important to see the issue from the child’s perspective also. Overreacting to a child who disobeys your request shows that you are only concerned with your needs and can be angry or upset if they are disregarded. That is not the message you wish to send. 

Lack of Understanding 
Children will do disrespectful and outrageous things. However, it is important to understand why that was done – was it a lack of understanding, not knowing how to respond to the situation or simply missing the cue. Speak calmly to the child to understand his/her point and then teach them the correct way to behave in the circumstances. Make your child understand that disagreements can take place without the need to be disrespectful. 

Respect Your Child 
You cannot teach a child to be respectful to others if you are not respectful to them. Respect is not something that is given to elders only; respect should be for one and all. Start teaching them by respecting their preferences. Trying to control your child’s behavior, wants and preferences indicate a lack of respect towards the child. As they grow up, they will learn to do the same with others. Communicate with the child if you do not like or agree with his/her preferences and let them try to convince you why their preference should be agreed to. A child feels respected and heard if their differences are accepted. They learn to accept differences and still respect others. 

Be a Friend and a Parent 
One of the toughest jobs in the world, parenting is also one of the most rewarding. Learn to be a friend to your child, but also make them learn that you are a parent too. Learn to be authoritative when required, but also learn to apologies when wrong. Remember, compliance is not respect.

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