Tips to Help Teach Respect

One of the most common character traits parents say that they want to instill in their children, which can also be one of the most challenging, is respect and a regard for others.

Showing respect for oneself and for others has a lot to do with being able to see yourself from the other person's shoes, thinking, "how would I want to be treated in this situation?", and acting on it.

Like many other character traits, the biggest way that children learn respect is to see it emulated by their parents.  Children who see their parents treating themselves and others with respect, are much more likely to immitate the positive behavior. 

10 Tips for Teaching Respect

1. Model Respect

As we've mentioned, if you want your children to exercise respect for others, you need to have respect for others too.

2. Expect It

By having high expectations of how your children should behave, they'll rise to meet these standards. Children are not afraid to be challenged, and you should take advantage of this.

3. Teach It

Supply your children with the tools that they can use to show you and others respect.

4. Praise It

In order for respect to really stick in your child's mind, they need to know that it's being acknowledged. Never miss the opportunity to recognize and praise your children for their positive, respectful actions.

5. Discuss It

If there are instances where other children are being disrespectful, use these times as discussion pieces for how those children could behave differently to be more respectful.

6. Correct It

When you see you're children being disrespectful, make sure that you are strong, firm and direct and that you act immediately. Don't let opportunities to teach and correct slip by, and always make sure that when you are correcting the behavior you are still modeling respect yourself.

7. Acknowledge It

Again, don't let things slide when either respectful or disrespectful behavior is exhibited. Make sure you call out bad behavior and praise respectful behavior.

8. Understand It

Children are constantly growing and learning, so decisions that they make related to behavior may be inappropriate because they don't know how to properly express themselves at this time. Remember to be patient.

9. Reinforce It

Remind your children of positive decisions they've made so that they remember how it felt to show respect and how it felt to earn praise for their actions. By remembering the overall experience of being respectful, it will stick out more to them.

10. Reward It

While you want your children to learn respect, you don't want to overindulge them with rewards. Help them learn this behavior through rewards like praise, recognition, privileges and extra responsibility. Teaching your children to be respectful isn't going to happen overnight, so remember to take your time and have patience and never lose the willingness to show respect to others in your own life to stand as an example of how your children should behave.

For more information visit Dr. Robyn Silverman and The Parent Report