Definition: To have high regard for, to hold in esteem, to treat with courtesy and consideration
“Children may close their ears to advice, but they open their eyes
to example.” - Unknown
Your child can show respect by:
- Being kind to a brother, sister, or friend when angry.
- Sitting down and talking with a grandparent.
- Answering his or her teacher politely.
- Not talking when someone else is talking.
- Not using foul language.
Questions to discuss together:
- How would you feel if someone got mad and yelled at you for something you didn’t do, and then refused to listen to your point of view?
- Do we use a lot of “put-downs” in our family? What are some examples? How can we speak to each other respectfully?
- Do we respect the environment? What could we do to reduce the amount of trash we throw away?
- Are the household chores fairly divided? Does it show respect for other family members to leave things lying around the house? In what areas do we need to show more respect for each other?
- Do we respect our clothes and other possessions? What does it mean to take care of what we have?
Projects to do together:
- Help your child develop a list of questions to ask a grandparent. You can suggest fun things about the grandparent that your child may not know. Then encourage your child to sit down and get to know that grandparent better.
- Plan how your family can “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” to cut down on waste and respect the environment. Look for specific ways to reduce your trash.
- Do a community service project with your child, like picking up trash on the sidewalk.
While you are working, discuss how your efforts show respect for your community.
- If possible, go out to dinner together and discuss how to ask for something from the server. Talk about how to treat persons who are serving you with respect.
Encouraging respect in your child:
- Answer your child’s questions with respect, and expect your child to do the same with your questions.
- Catch your child doing something respectful and give him or her praise.
- Remind your child to say “please” and “thank you.”
- Encourage your child to talk to grandparents, neighbors, and others in a polite tone of voice, and comment when he or she does.
- Point out that when people are respectful, itís easier to understand each other.
- Give your child an example from your day of how someone was respectful and how that made you feel.
Excerpt from Teaching Character: A Parent’s Guide by Anne C. Dotson and Karen D. Wisont - Available from the National Center for Youth Issues or from the Character Development Group.