10 Ways on How to Teach Respect in Children

Sometimes we forget that children are not born with a sense of respect instilled in them. Respect is something we have to teach them, and it’s often a difficult lesson for kids to grasp. Sadly, in today’s world, respect isn’t at the forefront of many people’s minds. But I believe it’s a crucial lesson children need to learn, which is why I want to teach how to teach respect with 10 possible ways below.

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Don’t Aim to Make Friends

The first step to teaching your child respect is to remember that you are there to be their parent and not their friend. This means that your child should show just as much (if not more) respect to you than to others. If you think your child is being disrespectful, ask yourself, “Would I let a stranger say that to me?” If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t let your child say it to you either.

Teach Your Children Social Skills

Basic niceties, like saying please and thank you, may seem commonplace to us, but they’re something that children must learn. Teaching your children manners from an early age will help instill the importance of being polite later in their life.

Model Respect to Your Children

Remember that your actions make more of an impact than anything you say to your children. If you aren’t modeling respectful behavior, your kids aren’t likely to heed your verbal advice. Instead of yelling and getting upset next time your children act disrespectful, quietly remind your them of your expectations in a firm and clear way.

Correct Disrespectful Actions

It’s best to catch and correct disrespectful behavior early on. If you see or hear your child being disrespectful, calmly note the bad behavior and correct them. If the behavior continues, present consequences for their actions.

Present a United Front

It’s always important that you and your significant other are on the same page. It is even more so when your child’s behavior is at stake. One of you may be more lenient when it comes to disrespectfulness. Keep in mind that your lessons will have less of an impact in the long run.

Clarify Limits and Expectation

While correcting your child’s wrongdoings is important, they also need to know what types of behavior are good and which are bad. By letting your child know exactly what is expected of them in certain situations, you’re more likely to see them exhibit that behavior when the time comes.

Talk About It

There are times where you are going to have to act at the moment a situation presents itself. Sometimes, there is little time to actually talk about what happens when disrespectful behavior is happening. However, try your best to. If you cannot, it is important to talk about the situation later in a calmer setting. By talking about things in neutral calm settings, children can listen in and learn to understand exactly what went wrong. In addition to discussing the situation, ask your child to analyze their reactions and explain how they could have handled the situation differently. Sometimes helping the child go back to the situation and look at it with a “hindsight lens” is an amazing opportunity for growth in a child.

Teach Listening Skills

While words and actions are important parts of respect, the ability to listen is also a crucial skill. Listening is one of the most important concepts that your children need to grasp.

How can you teach listening skills?

  • Remove distractions. Also, teach your kids to remove distractions so that they have good listening ears when you are not around
  • Teach them to make eye contact
  • Make sure they learn patience in speaking. Ways to do this include games that make them wait for their turn to talk.
  • Work on conversations with them that include the need to ask questions without interrupting.
  • Determine what type of learner they are to make sure you are teaching correctly.

If you take the time to incorporate key moments in the day to teach listening skills, it can pave long paths of patient, well-behaved kids that truly listen to one another. We are in a society where people want to constantly be heard, so they will go a long way if they are noticed as listeners. There are a few ways that are more important to show respect then taking the time to listen to someone.

Celebrate Diversity

Some kids will notice right away if someone looks different from them. Other children are beautifully innocent when it comes to noticing diversity. However, we never want to teach them to be blind to culture. Even if it is uncomfortable at points to point out people’s differences if you teach them to appreciate that diversity can make a huge impact on how your children react to those differences. By introducing them to various cultures and traditions, you can create a more diverse environment for your children from the beginning. This will go long ways to teach respect for all types of people, not just people in their own family or their own circle of life.

Don’t Forget to Include Stuff

Sometimes, we fall into the trap of only focusing on respect when it comes to parents or even any adults that are in our children’s lives. Yet, people are not the only things that deserve respect from their children. How to teach respect to other people’s things is another important lesson to teach. A huge part of respect is treating everything with kindness instead of simply everyone. By explaining the concept of value to your children, they will better understand how important it is to respect other people’s stuff.

How do you teach respect to your children? Which one of the above sections resonated with you the most? Make sure to comment below, we would love to hear from you!


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