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…