I am RESPECTFUL in my words, actions, and relationships
What does it mean to be respectful?
An English proverb was used to teach children the concept of respect… “Children are meant to be seen, and not heard.” …Yikes! Respect is not cultivated in children by subjecting them to behave as perfect little adults, in submissive stillness and silence. What a loss of precious childhood interactions and joy for those who enforced this standard! Being obedient out of fear, or by force, is not respect at all. It’s misery! At the core of every respectful relationship is love, honor, and appreciation. Aren’t we glad to live in a time when we say, “Children are meant to be seen, heard, cherished, and celebrated!” They deserve our deepest respect, and visa-versa.
So, how do we explain what respect really means so that our children will understand and embrace it? Teaching respect as a concept, using definitions, is a small beginning.
When we were children, we began to understand by experiencing the effects of both respectful and disrespectful words and actions from those closest to us; namely, our parents and teachers.
Respect is the experience of being heard and valued and knowing that someone genuinely cares. Being respected provides a safe place of belonging, and a confident-space for growth, learning, and contributing. Modeling respect is vital in teaching it. No parent or teacher can hope to receive respect until we first exemplify giving it.
Through our respectful words and actions we can begin to instill respectful feelings in our children.
When we act respectfully…
We look people in the eye.
We listen thoughtfully, and give our full attention.
We wait our turn.
We don’t interrupt.
We use good manners and “magic” words:
Please, Thank-you, Excuse me, You’re welcome.
We respond with consideration.
We show we care.
We watch for ways we can help and assist others .
We show interest in, and make time for others priorities, wants, and needs
We show others we care about their feelings and well-being.
We do what we said we’d do.
We keep our commitments.
We choose not to do things that hurt or demean ourselves, or others.
We treat others the way we would like to be treated.
What do you do to help your children practice respect for others and themselves?