Respect is a fundamental part of any healthy parent-child relationship. When children feel respected, they are more likely to respect themselves and others and develop a positive sense of self-worth. Here are ten ways to show your child respect:
- Listen to them: One of the most important things you can do to show your child respect is to listen to them when they speak. Give them your full attention and take the time to understand their perspective.
- Acknowledge their feelings: Children, like adults, have a wide range of emotions, so it’s essential to acknowledge and validate their feelings, even if you disagree with them. By validating their feelings, you show your child that their emotions are important and that you care about them.
- Show them trust: Trust is a critical component of respect, and one of the best ways to show your child respect is to trust them. Give them age-appropriate responsibilities and freedom and trust their ability to make good decisions.
- Give them choices: Giving your child choices is another way to show them respect. Involve them in the decision-making by giving them options. This will show them that their views matter and they will feel in control of their own lives.
- Respect their boundaries: It is important to respect children’s boundaries. This means not invading their personal space or pushing them to do things they don’t want to do i.e., when visiting family, ask them if they’d prefer to say hi, wave, or give a kiss.
- Show them empathy: Empathy is understanding and sharing another person’s feelings. Showing empathy to your child helps them feel understood and respected. You can do this by acknowledging their feelings, and sharing about a time you have felt the same way.
- Show them love: Showing your child respect means treating them with love, care, and compassion. When children feel loved and valued, they are more likely to respect themselves and others.
- Encourage independence: Encouraging your child to be independent is another way to show them respect. This means giving them the space and freedom to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes. By doing this, you empower your child to be more confident in making decisions.
- Acknowledge effort: When we acknowledge children’s efforts, we show them that their efforts are valid, regardless of the outcome. For example, you can recognise their efforts when they are being helpful, trying something new, or working on something for a long time, i.e. “I see you brought your plate to the sink. Thank you.”, or “I see you have tried really hard to put on your shoes all by yourself.”
- Be a role model: As a parent or carer, you are your child’s role model. Model respect and kindness when interacting with other people.
It is vital to build a foundation of respect, trust, and empathy in children at childcare centres, early learning centres, and preschools such as Montessori Academy. These centres should provide a safe and nurturing environment where children can learn, grow, and develop their social and emotional skills.