Learning the value of respect for oneself and for others is one of the most important learning of social interaction that any child must carry out from an early age. Respect is the basis for a correct coexistence and there is no doubt that it is in the family where its foundations are built. How to teach children the value of respect? ¿How to make children respect their parents? Tips and tools to instill the value of respect in our children.
Today it seems that children have great difficulty respecting authority figures, be they their parents, teachers or professors. The origin of this loss of respect is complex, but it has a lot to do with the way we educate children and the role that we are giving them in today's society. The family has become more permissive, focused on the child and his well-being.
Today we have placed the child at the center of all attention and, wrongly, many parents seek only to please their children, avoiding any conflict, problem or frustration. It seems that we are no longer capable of contradicting, confronting or denying them anything they ask of us, thus raising more selfish, demanding, impulsive and even aggressive children.
Children do not respect their parents because they are not learning to do so,since they live believing themselves the center of the world. So it is necessary to stop, reflect and teach them how to do it. This prior reflection is necessary to see where we are making mistakes and how to apply the following tips so that children learn to respect their parents.
If parents want our children to respect us, we must be the first to set an example. We must be respectful to our children, but not only to them, but with all the people with whom we interact on a daily basis or have some kind of relationship.
For better and for worse, children learn primarily by imitation, so they must be able to observe how we have respectful interactions with those people we meet daily: friends, acquaintances, neighbors, teachers, professors, bosses, employees ... But we must also explain what respect means and why it is important. For this we must:
1. Offer the best exampleor respect between us, parents. When children live in a respectful and quiet environment, they are more likely to be as well. Homes where there is constant and systematic disrespect between parents create the right climate for intolerance and aggressiveness in our children to germinate.
2. Listen without interrupting their opinions, they and their problems are just as important as ours. Let's learn to listen to them and empathize with them.
3. Be sincere in our messages. Do not lie to them, or disappoint or deceive them. There is nothing that undermines respect and trust for a person more than their continued lies and deceit. And, furthermore, if we do, they will never trust us again. Do we really want this?
4. Be kind to them, teaching them the value of words: please, thank you, sorry. Apologize in case we make mistakes, acknowledge our mistakes and thank them for their effort in helping us. And it is that, as the study 'Child protection: the role of the family', carried out by the Government of Navarra (Spain) says, when parents communicate positively with their children, they show them respect.
5. Avoid giving them everything they ask for when they ask for it. In this way we will be able to avoid becoming 'ATM parents' or fulfilling their wishes. And although we all want happy children, parents must fulfill the role that we play and know how to say no when necessary, without fear or fear of their reactions to frustrations.
6. Talk to them without yelling. Shouting does not give us more authority or credibility or instill respect. Yelling and bad manners foster fear and drive our children away from us. Screaming is the perfect food for disobedience and thoughtlessness.
7. Correct them in a positive way when they contradict us. When a child replies or contradicts us, let it be known that his way of answering us is not correct. We must teach that there are other ways of saying the same without being aggressive, argumentative or bossy. At the beginning we will put as many examples as necessary.
8. Establish clear rules or rules of coexistence. Rules or house rules help family members maintain a good coexistence. They help us to respect each other and facilitate family harmony, such as not interrupting when mom or dad talk on the phone, not playing with the mobile phone or with the console while we are eating or having dinner or asking for things please.
9. Be coherent and consistent in our actions so that our children know that what is wrong is wrong not only because we have a bad day but because it is something that is not correct under any circumstances. If one of the rules is' don't jump on the couch 'we won't let you do it at your grandparents' house, in a hotel or because we have visitors and we don't want to make a scene.
10. Putting limits on your tone outs. Under no circumstances should we allow our children to insult us even when we think they are too young to understand what they are saying. In the face of any insult or lack of respect we must be firm and clear, explaining that this type of treatment is not allowed in our family.
In short, it is about earning respect without imposing it, having authority without falling into authoritarianism and educating children with values as important as tolerance, respect or kindness.
And since we are working on the value of respect at home, we cannot miss this opportunity to extend this teaching to other spheres in the child's life. And it is that closely linked to this value is another of great importance also to live in society: tolerance.
If we do so, we will ensure that our children respect people who by race, sex or religion are different from them and who do not fall into attitudes of racism or xenophobia, and also that they do not discriminate against anyone for having a disability, be it physical or intellectual . What else can we do?
- Watch movies with values with them and thus be able create a small discussion to get their point of view and try to address these issues. Hiding or avoiding them can be a serious mistake.
- Do not fall or feed stereotypes like pink is for girls and blue for boys or that girls play with dolls and boys with paths. Let them be free and choose what they feel best about.
- Intervene when our children have a discriminatory attitude towards a friend or classmate because of the way they dress or speak. And above all, don't let them make fun of him for free, even if they are our children. Do not allow, under any circumstances, to laugh at anyone!
- Let us provide, and never sanction, the opportunity for our children to interact with children of other cultures, races or with some type of disability. Let's promote inclusion!
- And finally, let's show our children that it is possible to fight and work to live in a world where the word discrimination is deleted from the dictionary.
Now that we are going what to do, we need to look for tools to educate children under the value of respect. Stories and / or poems can be a great resource for children to understand this value and, above all, to empathize with the protagonists of stories.
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