Some children who demonstrate respectful behavior are "born this way," but the majority of respectful children are "made" or taught these behaviors. Teaching your child how to be respectful to herself and others should begin early in life. Parents can teach their child how to be respectful by modeling respectful actions themselves. When parents practice what they preach and show kindness, respect and generosity toward themselves and others, they ultimately teach their children that this is acceptable behavior.
Sharing and Generosity
Younger children, such as toddlers, have difficulty sharing because they are developmentally concerned with their own needs and ideas. But this is still a prime time for them to learn about sharing and being generous. Children who have experience with sharing and being generous know how to take turns, offer some of their treats to friends and will even think of others when buying items for themselves at the store. Again, parents who share with their children and encourage sharing in the home are likely to see these behaviors in their kids.
Respect for People and Property
Children who demonstrate respect for people and property also have a sense of self-respect. They understand the importance of taking care of themselves and their belongings, and realize that they should treat other people and other people's property with the same respect. These children have learned not to walk on other people's lawns, how to play with other kids' toys responsibly and how to address authority figures. Children with respectful behavior also share with others because they understand the concept of taking turns so that others can have the opportunity to play with a toy or participate in a game.
Kindness and Charity
Kindness can be demonstrated in many ways, from offering help to a friend to offering a comforting shoulder to someone in need. When kids show kindness to someone else, they are demonstrating the respect they have for that person's feelings. Other examples of kindness include volunteering in school and communities, and spending time with single, elderly people for companionship.
Respect and responsibility often go hand-in-hand -- they help establish a strong foundation of solid values in children. Children primarily learn about responsibility from the examples set by their parents, but they also learn responsibility by taking responsibility. Children who demonstrate respectful and responsible behavior know how to clean up after themselves, do their homework and voluntarily tell their parents when they have made mistakes. Responsible children display kindness, respect for others and property, and generosity to others.
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