You may be teaching your child about respect, but as she grows up, she is bound to have moments where she crosses the line. You can reinforce the importance of respect with your child through kid-friendly activities that emphasize ways to show respect. Get together with the parents of your child's friends to engage in group activities that allow the kids to learn with and from each other about respect, as well. Whether your children are in preschool, grade school or in high school (or a combination), it is important to instill lessons of respect to parents.
Sometimes, kids may not realize that some of their actions are disrespectful to their parents. Encourage your child to come up with interview questions about what respect means to you and your spouse or partner. If you are working with a group of kids, ask the kids to interview their parents, who will be more than eager to explain what respect means in their household. Afterwards, ask the kids compare answers with each other to see which commonalities and differences they find in parents’ beliefs about respect from kids.
Look for a series of sitcoms or dramas that involve families and friends. Show scenes from these programs that involve a child being disrespectful in some way, such as disobeying a parent or lying to a friend. Discuss the scenes and ask what should have been done or what they would do to rectify the situation. If you are having trouble finding good examples from current television shows, consider using some classic children's movies for examples of disrespectful behavior. In "The Little Mermaid," Ariel disrespects her father when she consistently goes to the surface of the ocean. Explain to the kids that while these movies have happy endings, they are not real, and disrespecting parents in the real world can have serious and sometimes even dangerous consequences.
Role-Play Showing Respect
Divide the kids up into small groups and give them each a different scenario around disrespect. Ideas include disobeying a parent's rule about doing homework before watching TV, or borrowing something from a friend without asking. Each group must come up with a small skit for their scenario. Discuss each scenario afterwards, with the other kids offering suggestions of ways to turn the scene around to make it respectful. Then have the groups re-do the scene in a way that shows respect.
Write A Respect Pledge
Have the kids make a pledge to try always to respect others in their daily actions. Each child should write his own pledge in his own words. Encourage the children to write at least three statements that declare their commitment to showing respect. Examples of respect statements includes, "I will respect my parent's decisions," or "I will respects my friends feelings," and "I will treat others with the same respect that I want to receive."
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images