Learning the value of respect for oneself and others is one of the most important lessons in social interaction that any child must carry out from an early age. Respect is the basis for a correct coexistence and there is no doubt that it is in the family that their foundations are built.
Today, it seems that children have great difficulty in respecting authority figures, be they their parents, their teachers or teachers. The origin of this loss of respect is complex, but it has a lot to do with the way we educate children and the role we are giving them in today’s society. The family has become more permissive, focused on the child and his well-being.
How to teach children the value of respect?
Today we have placed the child at the centre of all attention and, mistakenly, many parents seek only to please their children, avoiding any conflict, problem or frustration. It seems that we are no longer able to contradict, confront or deny them anything they ask of us, thus raising more selfish, demanding, impulsive and even aggressive children.
Children do not respect their parents because they are not learning to do it. They live believing themselves to be the centre of the world. So it becomes necessary to stop, reflect and teach them how to do it. This prior reflection is necessary to see where we are going wrong and how to apply the following tips so that children learn to respect their parents.
10 tips for children to learn to respect parents
If parents want our children to respect us, we must be the first to set an example. We must be respectful with our children but not only with them. Children learn mainly by imitation, so they must be able to observe how we have respectful interactions with those people we meet daily: friends, acquaintances, neighbours, teachers, teachers, bosses, employees. But we must also explain what respect means and why what is important. For this we must:
1. Offer the best example of respect among our parents. When children live in a respectful and calm environment, they are more likely to be as well. The homes where the disrespect among the parents are constant and systematic generate the favourable climate. So, the seed germinates intolerance and aggressiveness in our children.
2. Listen without interrupting heir opinions, they and their problems are just as important as ours, let’s learn to listen to them.
3. Be honest in our messages, don’t lie to them, let them down or fool you. There is nothing that undermines more respect and trust towards a person than their lies and deceit continued.
4. Be kind to them, teaching them the value of words: please, thank you, I’m sorry. Ask for forgiveness in case we are wrong and thank you for your effort in helping us.
5. Avoid giving them everything they ask for when they ask for it, in this way we will avoid becoming ‘parent ATMs’ or the fulfilment of their wishes. And although we all want happy children, parents must fulfil the role we have and know how to say no when it is necessary, without fear or fear of their reactions to frustrations.
6. Talk to them without shouting. The screams do not give us more authority or credibility or instil respect. Screaming and bad manners foster fear and keep our children away from us. Screaming is the perfect food for disobedience and inconsideration.
7. Correct them in a positive way when they contradict us. When a child replies or contradicts us, let them know that their way of answering us is not correct. We must teach that there are other ways of saying the same thing without being aggressive, answering or bossy. In the beginning, we will give you as many examples as necessary.
8. Establish clear norms or rules of coexistence. House rules or rules help family members maintain a good relationship. They help us to respect each other and facilitate family harmony, such as not interrupting when mom or dad talk on the phone or ask for things, please.
9. Be coherent and consistent in our actions. So, our children know that what is wrong is wrong not only because we have a bad day but also because it is something that is not correct under any circumstances. If one of the rules is’ do not jump on the sofa ‘, we will not let you do it at the grandparents’ house, in a hotel or because we have a visitor and we do not want to stage a scene.
10. Set limits on your tone outputs. Under no circumstances should we allow our children to insult us even when we believe they are too small to understand what they say. Before any insult or lack of respect, we must be firm and clear.
In short, it is about earning respect without imposing it. Also, having authority without falling into authoritarianism and educating children with values as important as tolerance.