Five Things to Teach Your Kids - Part 3
by Laurel on September 30, 2008
“Children have never been very good at listening totheir elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”- James Baldwin
Last week I began a series on the five basic principles that should be taught in the home. These principles can only be reinforced in church or school, but the model of what they learn comes from home. The first principle is the principle of love and the second principle was the principle of justice.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Aretha Franklin reminded us how it’s spelled, but in parenting this is something that must be taught in the home. The third principle is the principle of respect. Kids need to know how to show it. The way we behave towards others displays our values and character. If your words say one thing but your behavior displays another, kids will follow your behavior.
Kids need to be taught how to treat others with respect, not because they have a right to be respected, but because we have a moral duty to do unto others the way we want them to do unto us.
During the course of your child’s life, they will encounter adults that are teachers or coaches that are not handling situations correctly. We need to teach our child how to disagree with someone but still be respectful. For my kids we have had teachers in the school system who have been unfair but I told my kids that does not give them a reason to be disrespectful.
That’s the message in an old story about the politician who caught himself being drawn into mud-slinging and name-calling. Once he realized he was lowering himself to his opponent’s level, he stopped and said, “Sir, I will treat you as a gentleman — not because you are one, but because I am one.”
Kids learn respect or disrespect from how we treat them and how we treat each other. How about inside your homes? Do you allow the words ‘stupid’ or ‘dummy’ or ‘I hate you’ to be said with out consequences?Do you display respect towards your spouse? Do your words match up with your actions?
More importantly teach your child respect by being respectful. How can you show respect to your child?
Be honest – If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize.Be positive – Don’t embarrass, insult or make fun of your child. Compliment them.Be Trusting – Let your child make choices and take responsibility.Be fair – Listen to your child’s side of the story before reaching a conclusion.Be polite – Use “please” and “thank you”.Be reliable – Keep promises. Show your child that you mean what you say.Be a good listener – Give your child your full attention.
When we give kids the respect we expect, we teach kids respect. Our behavior and actions is what we teach them. Come back for principle four later this week….