Show and Tell
Respect is a two-way street: When you show respect to others, they show respect to you. That’s why modeling respect for your children is so important. Family members know when they are being respected and learn to practice respect in return.
Here are some easy tips to follow from Family “Focus on Respect” (PDF) from the University of Illinois.
- Be courteous and polite.
Children learn to say, “excuse me,” “please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry” at a very young age.
- Accept others without prejudice.
Children take their cue from their families—if all different types of people are accepted and respected by their parents, children will learn to welcome people from different backgrounds, also.
- Don’t insult, hurt, mistreat, or put down others.
Teasing or belittling others causes “hidden hurts” that break down self-esteem and cause emotional distress.
- Don’t take advantage of people or use them to get what you want.
If children see their parents dealing with others outside of the family unfairly, they’ll get the message that it’s okay not to respect the rights of others.