Building character in children is very important and Crucial to support at a young age. That means talking about it, modeling it as adults, and reading about it.
What does building character mean? It means becoming more independent, becoming stronger, strengthening and improving ones mental and moral qualities of an individual.
This week we are going to focus on building the trait of respect. Respect is defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something. You show respect by being polite, gentle, kind, and treating others as you want to be treated, this is an easy way to explain it to children.
Teaching respect can be facilitated among the young by interactions with adults who model respectful behavior. Model good manners in your home by using “thank you” and “please” at appropriate times. Treat all family members, friends and strangers with respect, this will help build a strong foundation built on respect.
Here are some ways to teach respect to your child.
Model Respect. Children often watch the adults around them, If they see parents and teachers treating one another with respect, they will do the same.
Discuss Respect. As children grow, talk about the way we treat others. Focus on the words we use (yes, ma’am; yes, sir; please; and thank you), and the attitudes we portray. Explain the expectation of respect for others demonstrated in both attitude and behavior.
Teach Turn-Taking. Turn-taking is a skill needed in all aspects of life. Helping children to patiently wait for a turn to speak encourages respectful listening. Encouraging children to wait for their turn in line or their turn for a toy develops an attitude of patience and respect.
Teach Polite Responses. Infants and young toddlers can begin learning how to use ASL sign language to communicate words like, “please” and “thank you.” As children begin vocalizing, adding phrases to their vocabulary like, “excuse me,” “no, thank you,” and “yes, ma’am/sir” continues to encourage an attitude of respect.
Praise Respectful Behavior: When children demonstrate good manners and respect to others, point it out, and tell your child how proud you are.
Here is a social story to read to begin your conversation about respect with your child.