Every parent wants to raise a respectful child, but respect can be a challenge for kids. It takes time and effort to cultivate respect in children. When teaching respect, it’s important to remember all three forms of respect. All three forms are essential to being an overall respectful person.
Here are the three forms of respect we focus on in our Great Start Karate classes.
RESPECT FOR SELF
Self-respect is the foundation of respect. Without respecting yourself, you will not be able to respect others. We teach the kids they must learn to respect themselves. This means:
- Positive self-talk
- Taking care of oneself physically, emotionally, and mentally
- Being able to identify and walk away from people or things that are disrespecting you
- A sense of self-worth and knowing your value
Parents – we must show our own self-respect to our children. Do not speak negatively about yourself or pick apart your flaws in front of your child. If you make a mistake, talk about it as a learning opportunity, not a failure. Pay attention to how your children speak to themselves as well. If you notice a lack of respect, remind them of the importance of respect and help redirect the statement to be respectful.
RESPECT FOR OTHERS
For children, this especially means respecting adults (parents, grandparents, teachers, etc.), but it also applies to peers. Respecting others includes:
- Appropriate language. No name-calling or profanities toward others
- Allowing others to express their differing opinions
- Treating others kindly. No bullying
- Displaying manners
- Looking people in the eyes when they speak
- Not talking over others
We want to remind our kids of the old saying, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.”
RESPECT FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S PROPERTY
Children must also learn to respect other people’s property. They should treat borrowed items, as well as their own belongings, with respect and care. Remind your kids how they would want their items treated. Set clear expectations for how borrowed items should be handled. And always remember to praise your kids when they do a great job respecting other people’s property.
When kids understand and practice the three forms of respect, they will be able to demonstrate respect in most life situations. While it takes time and effort, and reminders, teaching respect in children will help them be kind, successful members of society.