The ongoing pandemic is one of the biggest equalisers this generation has ever seen. People from different walks of life are combating the same thing. That’s what an equaliser does, it negates class, caste, culture, and brings everyone to the same floor.
Sadly though, what most people may not understand is the fact that the world already has an equaliser. It’s respect! You give it to someone and you get it in return. That alone should solve 90 percent of the world’s political quarrels. Yes, they are as pointless as they sound.
But to treat someone with respect, you need to understand how to offer respect to other people. It’s an ongoing process and you learn each day.
But to avoid the mistakes that the generations before us made, parents need to raise children who understand the importance of giving and receiving respect.
While it’s easy to talk, it's difficult to demonstrate the same. That’s why parents can follow these seven simple ways to learn how to raise a respectful child.
How To Raise A Respectful Child
Respect is a great relationship builder and will help nurture the bond with your children. Your child needs to learn about mutual respect not just for the relationships at home but also when he steps out into the big bad world. Here's how to raise a respectful child.
1. Let your child take command for a change
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Parents who allow children to take their own decisions help make them more independent. You can start small by letting your child pick out the clothes he wants to wear or letting him choose the music in the car.
The idea is to give them the ability to make decisions on their own.
As the child gets older, the decisions too will get complicated. Choosing between playing games or finishing homework, conflicts in school, choosing the right career option, all need a mind that can make decisions.
And this will require you as a parent to respect their decisions, but also guide them where necessary.
2. Value your kid’s choice
Speaking of which, respect begins from small things and that’s with acknowledging the one your child has made. What may seem like a trivial issue for you may mean the world to your child at that moment.
A good way to practice this is to allow them the clothes of their choice. It may not be the most fashion-forward choice but your child will realise that his opinion is being valued.
3. Pay attention
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Imagine you are at your birthday party organised by your friends for you. But instead of talking to you or spending time with you, they are on their phones. Not a good sight, right? Well, that's how your child feels when you are paying more attention to your phone over what he has to say.
You don’t need to be constantly there for your child. We understand that you have other responsibilities as an adult that need attention throughout the day. However, make time to spend at least one hour with your child and give them your undivided attention every day.
Take interest in their day-to-day activities, make eye contact, and let them know you are listening to what they say. There’s nothing that shows respect other than paying attention to another person.
4. Have those uncomfortable conversations
Not all conversations with your child will be all good and happy. There will be those uncomfortable days too. And the conflicts will only rise as the children grow older.
But, what you cannot leave is the ability to listen to each other. You may have a different opinion than that of your child, but you need to make it a point to hear him out.
This is an important indicator of mutual respect. When you are open to listening to your child’s point of view, you are encouraging him to be patient and listen to yours as well. The conversation may not be polite, especially as children enter their teens and grow older.
From faith, sexuality, education, to finances, and more, there are a lot of uncomfortable questions coming your way. But you will still learn to respect and understand what the kid is trying to convey.
5. Keep them curious
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Want to know how to raise a respectful child? Keep them curious about everything in life. Staying curious is linked to staying humble because it is a constant reminder that you do not know what the world has in store.
For children, this quality is extremely important in order to keep them grounded as well as open to new experiences. Teach your kids to ask questions. Your child should not be afraid of asking about something that he does not fully understand.
Curiosity also helps when it comes to meeting people and learning about cultures. Given the diversity of cultures and people across the world, understanding different types of religion is all about learning about different perspectives.
He will learn about living with respect and harmony with other diverse individuals.
6. Teach your child deep manners
The three golden words - Please, Sorry, and Thank You - are your first stepping stones when it comes to respecting somebody. And learning about this begins at home.
Ask your child to say please whenever he asks for something. “Please can you pass me the toy,” or “Thank you so much for the gifts on my birthday,” are all examples of how your child can develop respectful responses in day-to-day life.
This will also help when he is talking to his friends and teachers in school. “Sorry I broke your toy, I feel really bad about it.”
Your child saying this to a friend will have a better impact on their friendship, rather than not acknowledging his mistake. It’s the simple actions that count at the end of the day.
7. Walk the talk
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And finally, the first step towards learning about respect comes from the parents themselves. Children are keen observers and are quick to replicate what their parents do and say. So, if you are teaching your child about giving respect to others, make sure you do it yourself.
Be wary of how you speak to servers at a restaurant, say “please” and “thank you” after buying things at a store, or even “excuse me” when you need more space. How you treat your friends and parents, makes a big impact on how your child shapes up his perspective about other people.
You must also make it a practice to speak to your child in a warm and respectful tone, which then becomes the norm at home.
Of course, as parents, you need to be assertive and angry when the situation calls for it. But do so without disrespecting your child.
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