In this era of insecure parenting, parents are wary about exercising any authority on their kids at all. The result: children are preoccupied with peer acceptance, consumer goods and frenzied activities in and outside home. In this article, we will discuss some important easy ways to raise caring, respectful and ethical children.
1. Love your children
Loving your kids takes on many forms the most important ones being providing a safe and secure environment, meeting children’s emotional and physical demands, showing them affection, and taking a genuine interest in their lives. This might not seem easy but it is most definitely the easiest way to raise respectful kids.
2. Schedule regular time together
This is another easy way that can help you raise caring and respectful kids. You must make sure that the time you spend together helps you bond with the kids. It could be reading a bedtime story together or even spending one Saturday per month going out for a picnic or doing something you both enjoy.
3. Have meaningful conversations
A meaningful conversation is the one in which you take turns asking and answering questions. The conversation should bring out thoughts, feelings and experiences. They could include the following:
- How was school today? What part did you like/dislike?
- What did you accomplish today which made you feel good about yourself?
- Did you find a chance to help someone out?
- What did you learn today, outside school?
4. Be a great mentor and role model
Children observe and learn from their parents. So be an ethical mentor and watch your words and actions. When you walk the talk, they will be more willing to do so as well.
5. Respect the child
This is absolutely the easiest, tried and tested ways to raise respectful kids. When you respect your child by allowing him to express his opinions, tastes and values, the child will not only be more confident doing things outdoors, he will also be more respectful in his speech and opinion about things or people.
6. Develop a language of respect at home
Respect should be made mandatory at home; you must expect respect in the family because without it, little else will go well. Use terms like polite, disrespect, rude and so on to teach kids from an early age.
7. Set new policies on respect
It is not too late to raise respectful kids- you only need to tell them that a new policy about respectful behavior is in place. A child may have been allowed to get away with rude behavior before and as a result, does not understand what disrespect is. So talk to the child at a quiet time and mention the new policy in place.
8. Understand the sound of respect and disrespect
Instead of focusing on what is being said, parents must tune their ears to the child’s tone of voice (a raised voice may not necessarily convey disrespect; but the tone, sarcasm, mean words etc do so). Corrective action can then be taken immediately for the same.
9. Nip it in the bud
If a child’s tone of voice conveys disrespect, correct him/her immediately by saying, “Hey, that was disrespectful”. You can also use certain tone of voice to make the child back off so he/she knows being in dangerous territory.
10. Engage in community service
This is one of the best ways to teach kids to respect people from all sections of society and different backgrounds. When you engage in community service with the child, you help them understand what it means to be a member of the community.
11. Be honest and humble about your own mistakes
Admitting your mistakes may be hard for adults but when you are humble and honest about it, it helps children emulate the behavior when they make a mistake. You must take the time to explain how you will avoid making the same mistake and also the corrective action you will be taking.
12. Take care of yourself
This means taking the time to pray, meditate, go for a walk and so on. This will help parents cope with stress and make you more attentive to and caring with others, especially with the children.
13. Teach kids the importance of gratitude
Grateful kids are happier and calmer kids. They learn to appreciate their circumstances, teachers and friends and this can make them respectful about people around them.
14. Use timeouts for repeated disrespectful behavior
Keep your cool but be firm and assertive about disrespectful behavior. In case of teenagers, it is best to walk out rather than have a physical confrontation. But it is equally important to let them know at the end of the conversation that their behavior is disrespectful rather than letting it escalate.
If above strategies do not show results, you might want to consider family therapy. This is essential if you and your partner/spouse are unable to agree on parenting methods that ensure raising respectful kids.
Try these 15 easy and not-so easy ways to have a steady decrease in disrespectful and rude behavior from kids.