No parent likes to think of their child being rude or disrespectful to others, but unless they are taught how to respect people and why it’s important, they won’t know how and won’t see the value in it. It’s not something that we are born with, it’s something we must learn. So, what can you do to raise a respectful child? Here are some tips from an international school in the UK.
Talk About Respect
Start by trying to help your child understand what respect actually is. Explain to them that everyone deserves respect, regardless of their age, gender, race etc, and usually if you respect someone, they will respect you back. Help your child understand that mutual respect is one of the things that allows you to form healthy relationships, whether a friend, colleague, or even a romantic partner.
Encourage Manners & Politeness
Of course, one element of respect is how we speak to people. So, remind your child to say please, thank you and excuse me. Teach them that being polite is one of the most important things they can do when speaking to other people, because if they are rude then no-one will want to be around them.
Be a Good Role Model
Children observe people around them and learn how to behave, so make sure you are behaving in a way you would like to see replicated in your child. If you want them to respect others, you will need to respect others too. Next time you feel like losing your temper with a waitress who messed up your order, or a customer service advisor who charged you incorrectly, hold your tongue. Show your child how to solve problems without being disrespectful. Say please and thank you, hold the door for strangers, don’t swear or shout at people, and don’t make offensive jokes. Simply be aware of how you are treating others, particularly when your child is there to witness.
Help your child understand how other people might be feeling in certain situations. You can do this by talking about characters on a TV show, or people in your community. If you notice your child snatching or being unpleasant towards someone, ask them to think about how they would have felt if the same thing happened in reverse. If your child can empathise with others and truly consider their feelings, they are more likely to treat them with kindness and compassion.