Which children never retort their parents? What about when he pretends he is not listening? Speaks louder than the teacher? Situations that go from normal in childhood to the loss of control involve the word RESPECT. But, after all, how to teach a child to respect parents, colleagues, teachers … everyone?
Respect for others has to do with education, of course, but it is not just good manners. Just as respect should not be confused with the fear that the child may feel of someone. Teaching about respect is helping him understand that no one is better than anyone, and that everyone deserves respect, without exception – including him. Thus, respecting will not just be a rule of “etiquette,” but something natural and spontaneous.
Do you know that story “do what I say, don´t do what I do?”. That doesn´t work with children. Learning values (as respect) in childhood is given not only by explanation that they need to say “thank you”, but mainly by what is observed. It is critical that parents or guardians are positive influences. Children are very attentive to adult behavior, and they easily perceive when we say something and have a different behavior from speech. There is no point in talking about respect for diversity and having a preconceived attitude, for example. Remember: there are many opportunities for adults to show the importance of values such as respect, generosity and solidarity – and most of them happen on a daily basis.
Every action has a reaction
If the child’s behavior is inappropriate, try not to exaggerate the reaction. When you remain calm, and talk in an educational (not punitive) way, the child tends to react in a more educated way. If he gets used to it, it will be easier to maintain his education and respect with other people, even in stressful situations. Listening to what he has to say is very important, because the principle of respect is to listen to the other. If we listen to the child, he feels respected and learns to listen and respect the other.
No fear, yes admiration
Never threaten. It is not healthy from any point of view. The most you will achieve is for the child to feel fear, rather than respect. Another thing: when parents are very critical, children can become more argumentative. The way is: seek to be admired by the child and admire the qualities that he has. He tends to replicate this.
Understand and help him understand
Try to understand the child’s emotions and talk about how important it is to understand the emotions (or other characteristics) of others. Discuss the term “empathy,” which is nothing less than putting yourself in the place of the other. This makes it easier to talk about “respect” and acceptable and unacceptable behavior in this regard. It’s a good idea to tell stories by encouraging comments and impressions about the characters and their actions. Use the story to establish parallels with what might happen in real life, in the playground, in the classroom, etc.