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Teaching Respect

Disrespectful children are a growing concern among parents today. Most of us complain about our kids not showing respect to elders but what we do not realize is that children learn from us, either by way of watching us or by acting on the values we teach them. Now, many of you may argue that it’s the values that the kids aren’t picking up. So here’s what you can do:

First things first, if your children are around respectful adults, they’re likely to pick up the same attitude. According to child and teen development expert, Dr. Robyn J. A. Silverman, “Yelling, cursing, grabbing, shouting over, and sarcasm are transferable! When you speak with respect to your children, they learn respect. When you speak with disrespect, they learn that just as well.”

Besides this, here are a few things that you can do to infuse respectful attitude in your children:

Teach them. When children are relatively young, say between 3 to 9 years, respect can be taught to them. Show them the importance and power of family bonding, tell them how to behave with all elders and what words of etiquette to use. Values learnt in these tender years will affect them much deeply than those you preach in later.

Have expectations. Show them through your behavior that respect is a natural expectation from them. They should feel responsible for their behavior towards you.

Encourage them. When they do show respect, praise them and make them feel proud of it. Such acknowledgement will encourage them to take their own decisions, rather than follow their peers.

Reward Them! Why not? If you are happy with your child’s behavior, reward him or her! But be careful not to go overboard, so as to embarrass them. This is a little tricky age, where you need to understand what makes your gesture a welcomed one and what makes it ‘interference’.


Quick tip: Teaching children to respect others takes a lot of time and patience from your side. It is a good idea to spend a lot of time with them, trying to understand their views and pressures, instead of going by our own pre-conceived notions about our growing kids. This way you’ll earn respect from them!