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Psychologist Explains 4 Ways To Help Children Learn to Respect Others


Respect is not something natural, it is something that must be taught. If you are a parent of young children, you may want to raise them to be respectful of others. This includes respecting different people, from peers to elders, respecting cultures and traditions, and respecting rules and requirements.

Of course, few aspects of parenting are easy, and this one is no exception. Different children will experience different levels of difficulty understanding such complex concepts as respect. Ultimately, however, it is something that absolutely anyone and everyone can learn, and it is something that must be taught, with no exceptions!

But how can you do it? Being too blunt about it can teach your kids to respect yourself to avoid punishment, not because it’s just the right thing to do. You need to find ways to be firm but kind with this kind of lesson. This is how psychologists recommend 4 gentle ways to teach children to respect others.

1. Set house rules

Learning begins at home, so teach respect by committing to certain house rules that your children and, ideally, you and other adults in the house should follow. According to psychotherapist and Self esteem for life Author Ingrid Schweiger, Ph.D., Following the House Rules is a child’s first step toward being able to follow the rules in school and in other aspects of later life.

These rules serve as limits that your children must learn to respect. But of course it’s harder to get young children to line up.

Here are some tips to make that happen:

  • Sit your children down and explain in detail what the house rules are.
  • Post the house rules in a place easy for your children to see, like on the refrigerator.
  • When writing the rules, write them in large print and plain English, especially for young, beginning readers around the house.
  • Explain to your children the importance of each rule and how it affects the rest of the family; for example, they must clean their toys because leaving them outside creates a messy space for mom and dad.
  • Be very clear about the consequences of breaking house rules, and make sure your children know that you take them seriously.
  • If house rules are broken, follow the promised consequences and remind your child why the rules are important and what the consequences are.

We have discussed consequences here, but remember that purely punishment-based reactive responses have never positive results for children. Punishments must be fair, clearly explained and completely non-violent, and must be done when you have a sensible head.

2. Don’t tolerate rudeness

It’s not unusual for kids to get more than a little spoiled, but allowing it to happen and not correcting it is exactly how you end up. raising rude kids. This about it: how often do your kids yell:

  • “You are stupid! You are a baby!”
  • “That’s mine, and you can’t have it!”
  • “Anyway, nobody cares about that anyway!”

Sometimes these outbursts will be accompanied by tantrums and negative physical behaviors. If you don’t stop, these behaviors and actions will carry over into classrooms, causing disruption to your classmates. Basic social skills that overcome rudeness in positive Shapes are crucial to maintaining decorum in any learning environment for children.

But how do you nip rudeness in the bud, and how do you teach alternative methods to these outbursts?

Show apologies

Very young children will have a lot of trouble remembering to do what you are teaching them. This is perfectly normal; very young children tend to lack mastery over reactivity and impulses. That is why it is important to teach your child to say “I’m sorry” and mean it at a very young age. Schweiger recommends taking the initiative and apologizing first when you are also wrong or involved. Your child will soon follow your example!


For kids old enough to handle things like impulse control, Teach them the importance of positive self-expression by using first-person statements. For example, instead of saying “Shut up! You’re an Idiot! “Teach your child to say,“ I’m angry! ”or“ I’m frustrated! ”This is a great first step in teaching your child to express his emotions in a less accusing way, says Schweiger.

Encourage discussion

Is your child making sarcastic comments, passive-aggressive muttering, or acting to get attention? Teach them to talk about what they feel. For example, you might say, “You seem angry. Why don’t you tell me? or “You sound annoying. Let’s discuss it! ”. This will give your child the attention he wants and needs from you while showing him a more positive way of dealing with his feelings, says Respectful Parents, author of Respectful Kids. Victoria Kindle Hodson.

Don’t forget manners

Make sure your kids know the basic manners, but expect little ones to forget sometimes. Give reminders when needed and set a good example by practicing those same manners in your daily life. And if you make a mistake and do something rude and your child calls you, apologize and correct it immediately. This confirms the fact that ideas matter. Keep your thinking positive and don’t be discouraged if your child needs a lot of reminders for a while. These things take time and will pay off later.

3. Listen and slow down to understand

As silly as they may be, children have their own reasons for their actions in mind. Whether those reasons are completely rational or not is a separate issue, but that’s arguably not the important thing to focus on.

Why, exactly, is listening and understanding linked to respect? You are teaching your children that if they go out and speak their minds with kindness and honesty, something good will come out of it. You are also teaching your children about the give and take of conflict resolution. They will learn about commitment, be taught to understand other perspectives, and learn valuable lessons about respect at the end of the day.

Children want to feel that they are being heard and understood by you. This is why being an active listener and avoiding harsh, critical thinking can work wonders, says a nationally recognized psychologist and parenting coach. Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D. Here are some steps to maintain this mindset in times of conflict:

Step 1: Ask

When a conflict arises, like your child, about your thoughts and emotions, be sure not to judge and invalidate your feelings, as they can become defensive. If your child doesn’t want to share the excitement right away, make sure he knows the door is open for him.

Step 2: Listen

When your child explains his feelings, listen carefully and take it easy. Sometimes it is difficult to really understand what a child’s emotions mean and how their reasoning works. Instead of yelling, strive to dig deep and fully understand why your child feels this way.

Step 3: Explain

Once you understand at least most of your child’s point of view, explain yours. Tell your child what you would like to see changed. For example, you can explain that your brother’s excessive fussing could hurt you both, and talk about how worried you are that he will hurt himself. Don’t let emotion take over here; walk away if necessary and come back to explain when you have calmed down.

Step 4: Determine the ultimate source of the conflict

What is the root cause of all this problem? What made you angry? Does anyone have the television too high? Has your toddler pulled your pants too much and bothered you? What is really the source of this? Is it really your son or is it you?

Step 5: Be clear

Your children cannot read your mind. You have to directly explain to them what is bothering you and why. Yelling out of nowhere will confuse them and make them fear you, and make them model their behavior after that! Oh! Make sure your child knows what you expect of him; leave no room for guesswork.

4. Expose them to diversity

Another type of respect that many children need to learn is respecting those who are different from them. Without that kind of positive Respect, your kids will have a hard time later in life understanding and adjusting to people they don’t relate to.

Some children may not notice the differences, but many do. And they will be curious. They might quietly ask if you’re lucky, but they’ll most likely say something offensive out loud and embarrass you. Okay, it’s part of the learning process.

Solve the embarrassment and explain things gently. Don’t dismiss them, ignore them, or silence them, recommends Schweiger. Instead, address your comments directly. If it helps, consider it a simple curiosity. Your kids aren’t trying to be malicious, they really don’t know what’s going on! This is a learning opportunity, so use it wisely and explain what is different about the other person and why it is okay.

Naturally, the best way to foster respect for diversity is to expose your child to diverse groups of people from a very young age. Not sure how to do this? You can:

  • Take your children to events that involve children of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures.
  • Make sure the media your kids consume features diverse characters.
  • Let your children taste things from other cultures and teach them how to do it with respect.
  • Talk not only about differences, but also about the things your kids share with the people around them, Hodson says.

Final Thoughts on Some Kind Ways to Teach Children to Respect Others

Respect is not just something you earn. Every human being deserves basic levels of respect, and a child should be raised with this knowledge in mind. Without it, they may face even more behavior problems in the future.

Teaching your children About respect can be difficult, but keep your thinking positive! Start by enforcing the rules of the house, encouraging positive methods of self-expression instead of rudeness, and introducing them to the diversity of the world. Your efforts will pay off in the long run, and when you have grown into respectful and compassionate adults, your children will thank you!



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