Teaching Children Respect – Early in Life!

Every parent wants their child to have respect for them and others. Parents want to know that their child can behave in public. Teaching a child how to respect others can take some time; however, some parents get frustrated when their children don’t learn quickly. It’s important to know that children learn from seeing and hearing. Here are some tips to help you teach your child how to be respectful.

Be respectful.

Since children learn by watching others, it’s important for the parents to be a good example. Parents must show respect to their children and other people. Many parents think that simply telling a child to be respectful will work; however, small children’s brains are not developed enough to understand verbal instructions. If you want your child to respect others, you must show them how to respect others.

Expect respect.

Often times, a child’s misbehavior causes parents to lower the child’s standards. However, parents need to be consistent with their expectations for how their child should act. If parents stick to their expectations, a child will eventually meet their standards.

Use praise and punishment.

It’s important to remember that praise and punishment need to be balanced. If one is enforced more than the other, it can discourage your child. Also, use praise genuinely, so that you child does not grow up with a sense of entitlement. Use words of affirmation with an occasional gift as a means of praise. When your child is showing respect, make sure to acknowledge that. Likewise, if a child is not showing respect when he should, correct his behavior, and have him repeat what he said in a respectful manner.

Teach your child about using respectful words.

Children may not know how to express themselves in a respectful way. Instead, they may express how they feel in simple, rude terms. Teach them about the proper use of “please” and “thank you,” and let them know why it is important to use those words. Also, teach your children how to respectfully ask for things they want or need.  When your children forget to use polite words, ask them to repeat themselves and add the polite words.

It is easy for children to become disrespectful, especially when it seems that so many other people, including adults, are acting in a disrespectful manner. You are the most significant influence in the life of your child, so above all, make sure you become an example of how to act respectfully.

About Marion Witte

Marion Witte was born and raised on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota. It was there that she acquired her Midwestern work ethic and her philosophy of helping others. Marion enjoyed a successful career as an entrepreneur, and upon selling her various business interests she began pursuing a life of philanthropy. She is passionate and outspoken about the need for radical changes in the way we view children and parenting. Her memoir “Little Madhouse on the Prairie” relays the story of her life, and it is the basis of her commitment to this work. She founded and manages the Angel Heart Foundation and its sister organizations “Next Generation Parenting” and “Brave New Leaders.”

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