Teach Your Kids Respect

Respect begets respect. You more or less get from people what you give them. If you show other people respect, most likely they’ll do the same to you. It’s one of life’s important lessons which we just have to keep ramming down our children’s throats. Respect is such a big word which could be quite difficult for a young kid to digest. The challenge now lies in how we parents can chop it down to bite-size chunks, small enough for the average preschooler to understand and apply to everyday life. What simple lessons in respect can we teach them?

Use the magic words. When your kid turns 3 or 4, you can start teaching him to say “Please” and “Thank You”. If he uses these magic words often enough, they soon become a habit which will stick to him like a moth to a flame.

Don’t interrupt. Remind your kids not to but in when you are speaking with another adult. Sure he can bug you as you watch Ferris Beuller’s Day Off for the nth time, but not when you’re discussing something important with someone.

Be nice to the lady at the supermarket checkout counter. Same goes for the mailman and that guy who drives the ice cream truck. Tell your kid to treat people with respect, whether they have a five-figure salary or earn their keep on a daily basis. It may be their job to provide some sort of service, but they still very much deserve pleasantries from your kid. Ask your kid to talk to them nicely.

Remember your table manners. The dining table is the perfect place to practice respect for others. Make your child get used to saying “Excuse me!” if he has to get up and leave the table while others are still finishing their meal. Remind him not to talk when his mouth is full, and not to verbalize his disgust if he’s not a huge fan of lima beans.

Practice makes perfect, so let’s be relentless in our pursuit at training our kids to be stewards of respect. There should be absolutely no room for rudeness in your home.

Now this is my cue to sing R-E-S-P-E-C-T in my best Aretha Franklin impression…

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

Catch me on G+.


  1. This is great, not just as a parent, but also because my wife and I lead in an after school program in an impoverished area.

    I like the term “expectations” with the kids in our program. And we have 4 expectations that center around respect –

    1. Respect the leaders
    2. Respect each other
    3. Respect the stuff
    4. Respect yourself.

  2. Yup and yup. I was teaching my kids to say please and thank you as soon as their first words came out of their little mouths. But, I am also Miss Manners. Nothing irritates me more than rude children, or adults for that matter; really, there is no reason for this.

    Now you’re going to get me going on a tangent here Pepper. When I was married, the family and I used to have Sunday dinner every week with the same friends and their kids. We had totally different views on child rearing and table manners. Their kids were so ill-behaved at the dinner table I could barely stand it! Certainly there can be fun, but there have to be some boundaries.

    On the other point about interruptions, I 100% agree with you. In my journey with my son on the Autism Spectrum (and his speech delays) you come to realize quickly how often WE as parents interrupt our kids, or won’t let them finish their sentence either. I still do it.

    Good post as always!

  3. Mommy Jes says

    hi sis! tHnks for the visit! :D

    This is a nice post to remind those kids..i wish they were google-ing this kind of post instead of watching you tubes or online stuff that are nonsense :P

  4. True. Respect is a must to adults and kids..

    My nephews say “thank you” often and will remind you to say “welcome” when you forgot to. They can’t have anything without saying “please”..

    but the sad thing sometimes with my 1 nephew is–when you’re talking to someone, he will say “excuse me” and oblige you to listen, thinking he’s not close to disrespectful ‘coz he excused himself already..tsk tsk..

  5. true sis..rudeness should never have a space inside a home..discipline is a must in our home but totally teaching my kids the right ways with respect..I always teach them the right words of respect like calling me “nanay”,opo,saying thank you..

    but the best thing to get my kids to respect me is to be a mother whom they can look up to-being a good example for them to follow..I have always believed..if you want someone to respect you..then be someone who can be respected as well..

    *hugs hugs*

  6. This is all really great advice for parents, especially single moms! I was raised by a single mom myself, and I remember her following all of these tips to a T… I don’t know if that’s why or not, but I seem to have turned out pretty alright! ;)


  7. thanks for the visit! care to exchange links? While reading this post I remember my years spent teaching preschool… It was a good foundation for me if one day I’ll be blessed to become a mother, though I know it’s not an easy responsibility… You made me think of what entry to write next! Thanks and God bless!

  8. Thanks for those tips! :)

  9. True enough and this is one thing that I am very much concerned of. My son just turn 1 year two weeks ago and it’s our first so I am pretty much pressured on how to bring him up the right way.

    • Don’t think of it as pressure. We parents are bound to make mistakes along the way. Just do what you can, and you and your son will be fine :). Belated happy birthday to him :)

  10. very nice post sis… I always tell my son to say “please” too if he need something from any one.

  11. Great list of respectful reminders.

  12. i will remember this list…soon I will have kids, thanks for sharing this
    thanks for following my blog

  13. Cute Mammi says

    I really like your website logo, it looks amazing! Following back.

  14. I can definitely say my kid has good manners and the few moments he forgot them … he got what he deserved.

  15. Good tips Pepper. May I also add that we should also watch ourselves and treat our children with respects. Sometimes, when they need our attention, we just say Uhuh! without really giving them the focus that they need. I’m guilty of this sometimes, and I need to work on this more.

    By the way, I support you in the Influential Blogs for 2011 search. Have a nice day.

  16. At an early age, we have to teach our children with good manners and right conduct so when they grow up people respect them the way they treat others too. Also, when teaching them, as parents we have to become a good example. If we want to teach our children to behave well, we can also show to others what we are being teach to our own family members especially those young ones.

  17. I can’t agree more! good post :)

    My 15month old is now learning the word “gracias” (thank you) and she’s totally adorable saying this. though at this time, she would just repeat the word “gracias” and when I respond to her with “de nada” (welcome), she would also repeat “de nada” :)

    Spanish Pinay

    • Wow, good for your daughter :). Funny, my daughter knows a bit of Spanish too, thanks to Dora the Explorer hehe.

  18. The mind of a small boy runs so fast, often they don’t recognize the moment to say please and thank you. Mine has finally caught on and realized the additional benefits of saying “please” to strangers – the bonus of a big smile and sometimes additional service or some other treat! Maybe it isn’t such a chore after all …

  19. If there was one thing I was my grandkids were better at it’s respecting their elders. They are always nice to me and love me but don’t show respect in the way that they should. I am going to tell me daughter to look at this link. Hopefully she doesn’t take it offensively!

  20. Yes,i think so.
    I told my baby,When you live among people, we must respect and thoroughly understand them,but because she is three,so,she will always have to ask me why.I know because she was too young.

  21. Ansal Api says

    Hi,I just say mother is the first teacher of the child…………thnks for sharing.

  22. I have two kids, one being my 2 and a half year old daughter and the other is my almost 8 year old step daughter. The youngest one can be a nightmare at times… but l guess this is all just part of being two and a bit years old. The eldest is a bit more of a concern though…. being my step daughter l think makes things a little tough on her because as much as l do try to treat her like my own daughter, l think she has something going on in her 8 year old brain that makes her think that when ever l tell her off l am being mean because she is my “step daughter” While l assure everyone who reads my comment that l am not treating my step daughter any differently to how l would treat my biological daughter, it seems my 8 year old has a different view of it all. My step daughter has her “real” dad in her life… every second weekend and half of the school holidays, which is great for her to be able to maintain a relationship with her biological dad, but the problem is that almost every single time she returns home from her dads, she has a real attitude problem and seemingly little if any respect for me as her step dad. I do not know what goes on while she is at her fathers, but there is certainly something happening which causes this change in attitude and behaviour. My partner and l often say to each other that “just when she becomes a well behaved girl again…. it’s time to go spend the weekend with her dad” For us it is a never ending cycle….

    For me respect is something that l believe our 8 year old must display at all times, the occasional “bad day” can be forgiven, but this reoccurring cycle of poor behaviour and lack of respect for myself (and others) is not tolerated….. but there is the problem, What do l do to change all of this ? We have tried sending our daughter to bed earlier and removing other privileges, we have tried making her sit in a naughty spot, we have tried discussing the lack of respect situation with her, we have tried almost everything “other” than smacking/spanking. As l said earlier, our disciplining does work…… but our good work gets undone every time our daughter visits with her biological father. The worrying aspect is that if this lack of respect (for me as a step dad) continues, it will get to a point where l will no longer “forgive and forget” as l currently do.

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