In this episode 99, we provide tips and techniques on how to teach our children respect. Respect is very close to manners. It’s essential we teach our kids respect for people, places, things, and themselves. Here are some tips:
Create house/family rules – Agree on how you want to handle these kind of situations with your wife. It’s important to be on the same page. Make a chart of family rules: for example – “be nice to each other” “talk with a calm voice” Include the child in the process.
Set realistic expectations – It is easy to overreact. Be careful not to. When your child does something that you feel is not respectful, call them out on it but be calm. There is no need to overreact.
Deal with it when they are young – The longer you wait, the more difficult it is going to be to implement correct behavior.
Start with manners – Teaching them please and thank you when they are very young is a good way to begin teaching respect. You can listen to episode 48 for more information on teaching our kids manners.
Model respectful behavior – When they are yelling, talk calmly. Be firm and respectful towards them. Be sure to listen and be interested in what they are saying. Show respect toward others, especially your spouse and them.
Apologize When You Mess Up – This is really important that they see you recognize that you weren’t being respectful and have an opportunity to fix it.
Don’t take it personally – We have a tendency to take things so personally. The child may lack the skills or practice but they are not typically trying to “get at you”. Act calmly, but don’t ignore it.
Follow Through – If you make a consequence for behavior, you must follow through. For example, if you are at a restaurant and tell them if they can’t behave, you will need to leave. You must follow through. You have to get up and walk out. This is really hard but has to be done. Saying “We can try this again another time when you are feeling better”
Your child doesn’t have to be your best friend – The may get upset at you. It’s going to happen. You are trying to teach them how to be respectful, not trying to get them to “like” you.
Live with integrity and honesty – This goes along with modeling behavior but these two specific items: honesty and integrity are the foundation for building a solid character.
Reinforce respectful behavior – praise them when they are respectful. Be specific on what they did and why it was good.