Children Learn What They Live #17

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


If children don't master the essential skills for respecting their friends while they are growing up, life will be far more difficult for them than it has to be.

We can let our children know what we expect of them in a way that is still respectful of them and their feelings. "I know you'll do the right thing" is a better way of stating our expectations than "Don't embarrass me." Showing thoughtfulness in our daily activities created plenty of opportunities to teach our children how to respect others.

Children notice the way we care for our possessions. When clothes are piled on the floor or tools are left our in the yard, they see it. And they walk in our footsteps.

No matter what we tell our children about how to behave, the way we treat each other and the way we treat them is the strongest message they receive.

Children have a right to their own personal privacy. They should be taught this, just as they are taught to respect the privacy of others.

It's a mistake to demand or try to force our children to treat us with respect. If we treat them with kindness and respect, they are more likely to treat us the same way.

Even the smallest gestures of attentiveness and concern that pass between Mom and Dad are noticed by our children, and become their model for how to treat loved ones.

We can express our respect for others by being kind and considerate in what we say as well as in the way we say it.

The "me first" kid needs to slow down and learn to see someone else's point of view. We can help him do so, with patience and kindness.

Plants die when they are ignored and not cared for. We should make the effort to show consideration for all living things.

An atmosphere of kindness, consideration, and tolerance for individual differences within the family will prepare our children to respect the rights and needs of others, no matter how different they are.

Children notice the way their parents speak to each other, the ways to resolve disagreements, how they communicate with each other in clearing up understandings, and how they responds to each other’s needs.

Children can practice kindness by helping to care for household pets and learning to consider their needs.

Give your child every opportunity to express kindness and thoughtfulness – and notice and praise him when he does.

As our children move into the larger world and honor others out of a basic respect for individual worth and dignity, they can expect to be so honored in return.

Taking care of our home and everything in it provides a golden opportunity to exercise respect and caring. Once again, our example sets the stage for the best learning.

Acting respectfully is not necessarily the same as having a genuine inner feeling of respect toward another. It is the latter that we want to encourage in our children.

Teaching respect for our own bodies' need for food, rest, and exercise is another way of teaching kindness and consideration. Emphasize a balanced life for your family.

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