Categorized | Parenting, Toddler Discipline

How To Teach Children Respect

Teaching toddlers to be respectful is a goal that should be started as early as possible. Showing respect will help toddlers gain friends and be successful as an adult. Here are some tips on how to teach children respect.

Respect Your Toddler

Show your toddler respect. Start by listening. In daily conversations, look your toddler in the eye and give him your full attention to make it clear that you are interested in what he is saying. Listening to your toddler will help him understand how important respect is which will encourage him to reciprocate the action.

Teach Polite Responses

Train your little one to say “please” whenever he wants or asks for something and to say “thank you” when someone has done something nice for him. He may need a little reminding at first so be patient and constantly give him reminders. Do not forget to say them to your toddler as well. The more he hears them, the more likely he will learn to use them with you and others, making respect a normal part of any conversation.

Demand Respect

Make your toddler aware that you expect him to show respect to everyone. When a child knows what behaviour is expected of him, the easier it will be for him to follow rules. Again, be prepared to give plenty of reminders. When limits are pushed, point it out but never make your toddler feel guilty which will only damage his self-esteem. For instance, if your little one yelled at his older sister, gently grab his hand and say “Screaming at your elders is disrespectful. Say sorry to your sister.”. Or, before you go out to eat, remind him to show good manners and if he misbehaves, he will be removed from the restaurant. Make sure you follow through with the consequence. You can talk it over later when the two of you have cooled off.

Do Not Overreact

When you are about to lose your temper, try not to get upset. Oftentimes, toddlers push their parents’ buttons to provoke a reaction. Squat to your toddler’s level so you are facing each other and say gently but firmly “We do not punch people.”, and then demonstrate how to get what he wants respectfully, “If you need help, just ask politely.” Say “Mommy, can you help me finish my homework?”.

Be A Good Example

Most importantly, be a respectful role model. Your toddler will learn by watching and copying what you do and what you say. Be nice and polite to people. If you are angry, show your toddler how to deal with the situation in a mature manner rather than having a meltdown. If your little one sees you calm, he is more likely to react that way with you and others.

Remember to praise good behaviour as well. Do not just focus on the wrong things all the time. Thank your toddler for saying excuse me while you were on the phone. Be appreciative and make sure he knows you are proud of him. Doing this will motivate your toddler to continue the good behaviour.

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