I had hoped that the lack of respect in children and teenagers was just limited to my tiny part of the world, but from all of the comments that I received, I realize that this is an issue that is growing more prevalent everywhere. Trying to come up with ways to teach your children how to respect others is not easy, because it is an abstract concept. I did some research, however, and came up with these ways that we can try to teach our children to respect adults and other authority figures, as well as their peers. Of course, the earlier you start this, the easier it is, but if your teenagers are giving you a hard time, then you may want to try some of these tips as well.
– Be an example. Model respect to those in authority over you and your family. This is one point that was repeated time and time again in my research. It is important that we treat others (including our children) with respect so that our children will learn from us. This can be difficult, but you need to watch how you treat others and what you say about others. If you are ill at the teacher, you need to be careful about what you say about the teacher or you could be a tool in their losing respect for this person. This is an essential part in teaching our children to respect others.
– Expect respect from your children. If they are disrespectful, then call them on it. They will not learn how to be respectful if they don’t know what you expect from them. Just saying, “Be respectful” will not mean much if they do not know what that means concerning how they act.
– Consistency. This is a difficult thing for me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like taking care of an issue, but by me not being consistent, we lose ground on their teaching. I am going to have to work on being consistent with what I expect, rather than allowing how I feel to dictate how much I “see” and confront them about.
– Respect your children and their space. I am not saying that you should never go into their room, but I am saying to be respectful of their space. Respect their opinion and listen to their opinion. This does not mean that you have to always let them be right, but it does mean that you listen without cutting them off as if their opinion is not important. This is difficult sometimes, especially when life is swirling around you, but it is important to make them feel respected, so that they will, in turn, respect you.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it was just a few ways that I have found in researching and talking to parents that we can help our children learn respect. If you have more ideas, then leave me a comment!
We are parents to:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Smiles and Loves! Janis
P.S. Don’t forget about the contest for this week celebrating J’s birthday and my 50th post! By commenting, you will be put into a drawing for a $10 e-gift certificate to Christian Book Distributors! Send me those comments! Blessings to you all!