Life SKILLZ – Respect
One of the most important things you can teach your children is respect. Some parents think that respect is the same thing as obedience. Children will obey a parent because they are afraid, but if they respect you, they will obey you because they know that you know what is best for them.
Here is a guideline regarding children and respect based on age:
- With children ages 3 and 4; they are just learning how to act appropriately with others. Teach them how to have good manners such as saying “please” and “thank you.”
- With children ages 5 and 6; they are learning that the way they act will have an affect on others, both positively and negatively. Teach them how to have good sportsmanship.
- With children ages 7 and 9; they are becoming more independent and making their own decisions.
Teach them about self-respect.
- With children ages 10 and up; they are at an age where identity and popularity becomes important. Teach them about having respect for their friends by not gossiping or bullying.
Children can learn respect simply by following your good example. Make sure that you do not talk down to your children, embarrass them, or belittle them. This will only make them shut down. Another way to build respect is to give them a chance to make decisions and give their point of view. Also make sure you reinforce respectful behavior when it is demonstrated at home and in public. As a parent, if you can nurture a respectful environment in your home, then your children will naturally become more respectful and it will carry over to other areas of their life.
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