• Parenting with Hope

How Do I Teach My Kids to Be Respectful?

We would all agree that today we live in a consumerist society, and, sadly, when it comes to children and parents this can be the case as well. Parents are the givers of parental services and children are consumers. When we act as a consumer only we don’t sense the right to GIVE anything, and in the case of this month’s parenting class, that often includes RESPECT.

We want our children to be respectful towards us, towards their siblings, their friends, their teachers. Actually we expect them to be respectful towards EVERYONE. But how do we move from wanting a respectful child to actually having one? Check out this month’s video to begin the conversation on instilling respect.

Respect and honor, honor and respect. These words are used interchangeably in the Bible. We’re called to honor and respect EVERYONE, especially those who have authority over us.

At the root of respect is treating others the way we want to be treated.

That’s right, the ‘golden rule’. It’s not just a concept to talk about, it’s actually in the Bible!

Matthew 7:12 says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.” In other words, treat others the way you want to be treated. When we learn to abide by this golden rule we’ll find ourselves respecting those around us.

We know you’re asking for practical tools to make sure you’re helping your child be respectful to others, so here are a few principles to live by to encourage a respectful attitude in your child:

  • Help your child be a courteous conversationalist, allowing others to talk, listening with eye contact, and not interrupting.

  • Everywhere you go there are rules, so go over the expectations BEFORE you enter that unique situation. You’ll help set them up to respect those rules.

  • Develop a language of respect in your home. Keep vocal tone and volume in check and apply consequences when your kids are out of bounds.

Yes, Aretha taught us to spell it: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, but now hopefully, you have some practical tools to teach it. Respect is one of those character traits that will help your child adjust well throughout his or her life. It’s one you’ll appreciate as her parents, his friends will welcome, and her co-workers will value.

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