Teaching our children to respect others is one of the most important things that we do as parents. It helps shape their character and teaches them to focus on others, as opposed to just themselves. With this in mind, here are eight ways parents can teach their children to be respectful of others.
8 Respectful Behaviors to Teach Your Children:
1. Look people in the eye.
Kids are easily distracted, and even more so in this day and age with access to iPhones, iPods, TVs, and computers. As parents it’s our job to make sure our children learn to stop what they’re doing and look at the person who is speaking to them. This also means we do the same for them, by putting down our cell phones and looking at our kids when they talk to us. As parents, we teach more by example than we ever will with just words.
2. Acknowledge people.
Teach your child that people deserve to be acknowledged when they come to your home. Teach them to stand up and greet people who enter your home and teach them how to start a conversation by saying, “Hi! How are you doing today?”
3. Don’t interrupt.
Sometimes my children are bursting with excitement to tell me something, and they interrupt me when I’m talking to someone else. I’m teaching them to put their hand on my arm or shoulder and wait for a pause in the conversation, at which point they can say, “Excuse me,” and politely enter into the conversation.
5. “No” means no and “stop” means stop.
Don’t let your children get away with teasing one another as siblings are apt to do. Teach them to respect their siblings and friends, not just adults. We repeat this refrain a lot in our house: “no” means no, and “stop” means stop.
6. Don’t embarrass someone even if they are wrong.
Teach your children to respectfully disagree, especially with teachers and those in authority. Let them know that if they disagree, they need to wait till after class to talk to their teacher or coach and should never try to embarrass or call them out in front of others.
7. Help others as occasions arise.
Teach your kids to anticipate and respond to needs as they arise, by holding doors for others, letting people walk in front of you, and, generally, treating people well whether they are at home or in public.
8. Remember the golden rule.
Teach them to treat people the way they want to be treated. This covers a multitude of situations, but most importantly, it teaches them that all people are important and should be treated with dignity and respect.