How to Raise a Respectful Child

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How to Raise a Respectful Child

Respect can be defined in more ways than one. It can stem from an admiration of someone who has many great achievements or possesses commendable qualities. For instance, you might respect a friend who is very hardworking. However, respect also refers to the consideration of another persons’ feelings, rules, rights and opinions. With that said, why wouldn’t we want to raise respectful children? I have teamed up with an independent prep school in London to offer you some advice on how to do so.

First and foremost, if you want to raise a respectful child, one that speaks politely to people and follows the rules, you will have to demonstrate respectful behaviour so that they can follow suit. For example, you might feel like yelling at the customer service representative on the phone, but if you do, your child will think this is a normal way to speak to people. Try to stay calm and remember your manners, especially when your kids are around.

If your child is badly behaved, try to identify the cause of the behaviour and teach them some alternative problem-solving methods. Perhaps they are struggling with their homework or have had an argument with their friends at school and their sadness or frustration is manifesting as tantrums and yelling. Rather than yelling at them, try and help them understand why they are behaving that way and offer some suggestions of what they can do instead. The trick is to resolve conflicts thoughtfully, rather than aggressively, as the latter will teach your child bad habits. 

Of course, you probably already remind your child to say please and thank you on a regular basis, but there are other ways you can teach them to respect other people. If you hear them speaking negatively about another person, for instance, talk to them calmly about how wrong it is to judge another person based on the way they look or what they believe in. Remind them that they should treat people the way they wish to be treated.

The concepts above merely scratch the surface when it comes to teaching your child to be respectful. If your child is a littler older, you could encourage them to do some charity work or get involved with the community so that they learn about other people’s hardships. This will help them to empathise with others, while reminding them how lucky they are. When it comes to respecting other cultures and religions, perhaps you could learn about some different religious holidays together. Disrespect often stems from ignorance, so avoid this by helping your child learn as much as possible about how other people live.

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