A lack of respect is a big issue with families and children today. All parents are concerned with teaching respect and having children that act respectful inside and outside the home. It’s important to differentiate between respect and obedience. Children might obey out of fear, but respect comes from an understanding that you have their best interests at heart. The idea of respect has often been discussed by philosophers and world leaders. Activist Eldridge Cleaver once remarked, “Respect commands itself and it can neither be given nor withheld when it is due.”
Children take cues from their parents and a respectful person will often have a respectful child. The key to teaching respect lies in how the message is conveyed. A person’s body language, tone of voice, and timing, all impact whether or not children will listen. It’s a process based on patience and understanding.
The basis for respect comes from the connection a parent has with his or her child. Children of different ages require unique approaches, teens especially. The move from adolescence to teenager can create power struggles between parents and children. One common mistake is making assumptions about a child’s behavior in advance rather than waiting to see how they react to a given set of rules.
Children may look to play one parent off the other, so discussions about different parenting styles can form the basis for a disciplined approach to teaching children values. Determine your parenting style, whether it is authoritative or permissive.
Discipline is often a critical component in teaching respect because it establishes boundaries and lets a child know how a parent will react if those boundaries are broken. Boundary setting may include:
- Avoiding overindulgence
- Offering choices whenever possible.
- Using door openers to continue a conversation.
- Setting limits and clearly establishing consequences if limits are not followed.
- Using bribes sparingly.
- Establishing a bedtime routine as a lack of sleep can lead to poor behavior.
- Parents should acknowledge and apologize for their own mistakes.
- Avoiding inappropriate anger or overreaction.
Modifying Kid’s Behavior
Nobody’s child is perfect, but there are some ways in which a parent can stop tantrums through the consistent use of rules and praise.
- Try to find the source of their misbehavior.
- Teach kids inside voices so they don’t think they need to be loud to be heard.
- Develop a set of house rules with children that cover general behavior such as manners.
- The concept of stranger danger lets children understand how to react in public and at home in the presence of strangers.
- Keep an eye on the video games they choose and limit the amount of time they can play.
- Unstructured play can help children learn independence and how to interact with others.
A number of resources are available to aid parents in dealing with behavior disorders.
Co-parenting And Respect
In the wake of so many changes, it’s easy for children to radically change their behavior after a divorce. In order to reestablish respect, divorced parents should work to reestablish trust with their ex-partners. When children lose respect for either their father or mother, Parental Alienation Syndrome can occur. PAS, introduced in 1985 by Richard A. Gardner, M.D., happens when a child rejects one parent based on the influence of the other parent.
Children crave consistency and parents should let them know that they're doing everything to limit the number of changes will help them get back on track. There are helpful resources available, like the book “My Two Homes,” that can provide guidance for establishing rules in two separate homes.
Respect Outside The Home
When playing games, the idea of sportsmanship means respect for the rules, teammates and other competitors. In addition to sports, it’s important that children understand the need to respect their teachers.
Related Teaching Respect Resources
About.com African-American History: Eldridge Cleaver  About.com Child Care: Before You Lose Charge: Ways to Keep Your Cool Around Kids  About.com Child Care: Brat Attack: Stopping Tantrums  About.com Child Care: Child Bribery: Discipline Do or Don't?  About.com Child Care: Teach Kids the Art of Inside Voices  About.com Child Care: Teacher Tips for Good Parent-Teacher Conference  About.com Child Care: Teaching Kids About Stranger Danger  About.com Family Fitness: Sportsmanship: Teach Your Kids About Winning and Losing in Sports  About.com Fatherhood: Setting Limits for Your Children  About.com Fatherhood: Ten Common Discipline Mistakes Fathers Make  About.com Pediatrics: Parenting Styles  About.com Quotations: Quotes on Respect  About.com Single Parents: A Bedtime Routine That Works  About.com Single Parents: Book Review of How Much is Enough  About.com Single Parents: Connect With Your Kids in Just 15 Minutes a Day  About.com Single Parents: Consistent Co-parenting  About.com Single Parents: Coping With Your Kids' Misbehavior  About.com Single Parents: Create a Set of House Rules for Your Kids  About.com Single Parents: Five Ways to Help Your Angry Child  About.com Single Parents: How to Apologize to Your Kids  About.com Single Parents: How to Communicate Clear Directions  About.com Single Parents: How to Handle Different Parenting Styles  About.com Single Parents: Offering Your Children Choices  About.com Single Parents: Parental Alienation Syndrome  About.com Single Parents: Practical Ways to Limit Screen Time  About.com Single Parents: Review of "My Two Homes," by Susan Magsamen  About.com Single Parents: Safe Video Games for Kids  About.com Single Parents: Single Parenting Mistakes You Should Avoid  About.com Single Parents: Teach Kids Respect by Giving it Away  About.com Single Parents: The Importance of Unstructured Play Time  About.com Single Parents: Top 10 Ways to Rebuild Trust With Your Ex  About.com Special Education: Behavior Disorders  About.com Teens: Communication Skills for Parents  About.com Teens: Learn to Communicate Effectively with Your Teen in 5 Days  About.com Teens: Teens and Power Struggles  About.com Teens: What Is Discipline?  Baby Center: The Respectful Child: How to Teach Respect  Teachnology: Respect- How to teach it and how to show it  The Powerful Parent Blog: 10 Tips on Teaching Respect to Children