A concern for some parents may be how to teach their children to respect themselves and others. Since respect is not necessarily something children are born with, it often must be taught through games and other activities. Fortunately, children are generally fast learners and benefit greatly from well-organised activities. Rather than expecting children to learn respect on their own, involving them in a variety of educational activities will ensure that they get the chance they deserve to grow and develop adequately.
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Teach children the importance of "please" and "thank you" by turning dinner time into a game. Ask your children to pretend that they are eating in a restaurant, explaining to them how they should treat the "waiter" (whomever brings food to the table), as well as the people at their table. This is a great activity for teaching children the importance of being respectful within the household, as many children understand respect in public places, yet do not exhibit the same actions when at home.
Remind children to be kind and giving by setting up a mock holiday. Gather at least three or four children, each of whom will be instructed to make a gift for another; the gift can be as simple as a drawing or other, similar homemade work. This type of activity will teach children that giving is, in many ways, more satisfying than receiving and that there doesn't always need to be a reason for kindness.
Engage your child in games during which they have to work together with other children as a team. Teamwork is a great way to teach children to respect one another, as they will be unable to do an adequate job during the game if they do not learn to respect and trust each other. Team sports are ideal for teaching this skill to your children.
Tips and warnings
- Never scold a child heavily for showing disrespect; rather, politely remind the child how to act appropriately. Many children turn to defiance when they are scolded.
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