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5 Definitions of Respectful for Kids

Respect means different things for different people. However, despite the varied definitions, it’s a concept that should be taught to kids, so they grow up to be ‘respectful.’

What is Respect?

Respect actually comes from the Latin word, ‘respectus’ which translates to regard, attention, and consideration.  Respect means caring and understanding that your words and actions can affect others.  Some parents often complain about their kids disregarding their rules or disrespecting them, and it can be very frustrating dealing with such kids.

In this article, we discuss 5 definitions of respectful you can teach your kid.

Definition 1: Respecting Yourself 

It’s very common for people to define respect as something we give and show to others. However, we deserve respect too and you should teach your kids that.

Respecting oneself could be respecting your body by exercising, eating good food and getting enough sleep. Respecting oneself could also be treating yourself kindly by giving yourself pep talk, going easy on yourself when you make mistake and taking yourself out of toxic situations.

Accepting yourself the way you are, valuing and appreciating yourself are also examples of respecting oneself.

Definition 2: Respecting Others

Respect can also be defined as showing regards to others. This is probably the broadest definition of respect as it involves many elements and different practices.

This includes greeting someone when you meet them. Listening to what your parents say, obeying your teachers, and making eye contact when people are speaking to you.

You can encourage this by encouraging kids to treat others the way they would love to be treated. 

Below are some ways to encourage kids to put respecting others into practice;

  • Saying Please and Thank You

You should let children understand that using words like Please, and Thank you, Maam, and Sir are great wats to show respect. 

  • Apologizing When You Screw Up

Respect is also admitting you have made a mistake or hurt someone by apologizing. There could be occasional outbursts or situations where you have screwed up.

Teach your kids that respect means taking responsibility for our attitudes and apologizing when we have made mistakes. You can put this into practice by encouraging them to say ‘I’m sorry’ when they have offended you or others.

  • Accepting Others The Way They Are

Respect is also accepting that everyone is different and not judging them for being different from us. Individual differences exist, and they form our identities so try not to impose your beliefs on others. Let kids know that everyone is equal and everyone is due respect for the simple fact that they are people.

  • Not Using Negative Labels of Insults

You can also show respect by not saying hurtful or mean things to others. Children should know it’s disrespectful to use negative words on others.

  • Having Good Manners

A huge part of respect is having good manners. Manners like waiting your turn, not jumping queues, not cheating during texts, having calm behavior in public places are all signs of respect.

Respecting others also means being kind and polite to everyone they interact with and using people’s things with care, so you don’t damage them.

  • Keeping Calm in Conflict Situations 

Many people, even adults, fling out respect when they are angry. It’s common to see people throw things, hurts others, and say mean words when they are angry.

Define respect to children as knowing how to stay calm in conflict situations. This involves understanding where their anger is coming from and keeping a clear head without being disrespectful.

Let kids know disagreements and arguments can occur without being disrespectful.

Definition 3: Regarding Social Norms

This kind of respect involves respecting rules and laws. It could be societal rules, traffic rules, respecting working hours and people’s belongings

Respecting the Nation, the national anthem and flag is a form of respect. Respect could also be regarding people’s rules and way of life. This includes school rules, home rules, work rules and so on.

Definition 4: Looking Up To Someone

Another definition of respect people leave behind is looking up to someone with admirable qualities and abilities. Respect is more profound than saying thank you and being kind. When someone inspires you or has done something extraordinary, you feel respect towards them. 

Definition 5: Respect Comes From Within 

You should teach kids that respect should come from within, and it isn’t something they should do just because of fear of punishment or scolding. You shouldn’t force kids to show respect, instead let it come from within by letting them understand why and how they should show respect.

Therefore, if your child is disrespectful, identify the issue and focus on solving it instead of forcing them to show respect. 

Below are ways to encourage respectful behaviors in kids.

  • Don’t Shout or Use Negative Words At Them

If you want to teach respect, it essential to keep a calm tone. Even when you are upset, avoid shouting or using negative words on them.

  • Don’t Give Room For Disrespect

Don’t give room for your kids or anyone to disrespect you. Set limits on what is right and wrong and let your kids know the acceptable and unacceptable behavior. When they are disrespectful, call out their behavior calmly and try to understand why he/she disrespected you. Once you understand why they are being disrespectful, it becomes easier to solve the problem and encourage them to be respectful.

  • Acknowledge Your Kids When They Are Respectful 

As you would call out your child when he/she is disrespectful, it’s also important to acknowledge them when they are respectful and on proper behavior. When you acknowledge that their actions and behavior are done right and respectfully, they are likely to repeat it.

  • Respect Them 

Finally, children tend to mimic the behavior around them, especially their parents. Therefore, the best way to teach kids about respect is to make an intentional effort to model respectful behavior for them. 

Also, treat your kids with respect, create a respectful relationship with them, and they are likely to treat themselves and others with respect. You can’t teach respect by being disrespectful towards your kids. 

This doesn’t mean you call them ma’am; just treat them as a person. Respect their preferences, give them room to air their opinions and voices, and let them feel heard.

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