Parents often struggle in teaching their children simple etiquette and respect. There may have been occasions when you noticed that children control the situation and parents feel helpless seeing their child insulting others and themselves.
Most people think that respect is to look up to someone you like. But that’s not it! Respect is not limited to looking up for the people you like or elderly only. It is a virtue that should be shown equally to everyone around you, no matter who they are. Respect is due regardless which is simply the acknowledgment of someone’s existence, abilities and paying attention to their views.
You would agree that during childcare or schooling, many parents disrespect the staff many times as if they are their privately owned workers, and still, they want them to be respected. Children also witness their parents treating the school staff rudely and this is eventually learned behavior from them. Is that really possible to teach your children to respect others while you do not own the same behavior? The answer is simply No!
We all know that children are not born with this attribute it is learned! We enhance it. We learn respectful behavior and thus, we start it from our home first. When children grow, parents should feel more responsible to teach them the right ways of getting their needs met.
We see that today’s modern age of social media and the internet has highlighted the sense of disrespect. So, parents could focus more on building this quality in children, in addition to their busy work commitments. They want to spend quality time with their kids, but they unintentionally neglect the side of such character development.
Another reason for the decline in etiquette is that the parents are impractical about their children. They refuse to accept the weaknesses of their children; they are naive of their strengths and always try to hide their mischievous behavior in excuses. A common example is; you have heard parents say our child does not do this at home, while their child repeats the same behavior at school and home many times. The reality is parents feel embarrassed in accepting their child’s behavior.
Parents can try these tips to teach children to respect others:
- First of all, you are a friend of your child, but your child is not your friend. Be careful that your child should not cross the line of a good rule of thumb. You need to be careful, because you would not allow anyone to disrespect you, Obviously No! so you should stop your child.
- Teaching good manners and etiquette is part of the early developmental stage. Infants learn everything quickly so it is the right time to teach them the words, Thank you and please. You can always explain the reason politely if your child does anything wrong or unacceptable.
- If one parent is intervening while another one is correcting the child, there should not be any disrespectful behavior from either side. The best way to teach a child is that both parents are on the same page. It would be the worst way if one parent is correcting and the other one is either supporting child, saying nothing, or even not supporting the correcting parent.
- When a child is disrespectful, correct him in a respectful manner and not in front of others. Yelling, showing your attitude in response, embarrassing them, or getting upset will not be helpful instead, it will escalate his behavior. The fact is you will never be an effective teacher if you allow the disrespectful behavior of your child to affect you. On the contrary, give a clear message to the child about what is unacceptable.
- Most parents know their child’s behavior, so be realistic about it. Do not try to push him to limits for what he cannot do. For instance, if your child is not used to sitting for a long time in public places or family gatherings, avoid such things until they become a bit older.
Remember teaching respect is a matter of priority and reflection of your personality. The early developmental age is the best time to teach children respect. Even if they object, they will eventually learn and cooperate with you. Kids do want limits; it is up to parents how they set examples for them to think twice before kids act or speak, which is eventually respected. So, when kids learn to think before acting, they will learn ideal behavior.