Ways to Teach Your Children the Value of Respect

Ongoing research continues to reveal astonishing facts about the developmental journey of infants. They observe and absorb language and behavior from their environment far earlier than people used to imagine. There are studies that show that they can differentiate words and feelings within a few months of being born. As they grow, they continue to acquire social and interpersonal skills. While some of it can be imparted through direct instruction and disciplining, much of it is picked up by children observing those around them. What frustrates and puzzles parents is how difficult it is to teach children the value of respect.  Guest blogger Kelsey Masterson offers five ways to teach your children the value of respect.

We all know that toddlers and preschoolers aren’t always the perfect models of respectful behavior 100 percent of the time. Sometimes, they come across as being very trying at this young age. Teaching your children the value of respect is a process that can start at a young age, and it won’t be as hard as it seems.

Start Early
As soon as your child is born, they should start hearing the words “please” and “thank you” when you are around them. When they get to the age that they can play with other children, teach them all about sharing with their friends. Show him that taking care of his toys will also teach him how to respect property.

Model Good Behavior
Children live what they learn. You are your child’s parent and teacher as well. Your child will learn how to treat others respectfully by watching what you do and learning by example. Be aware of how you interact with others during the day and be sure your child is learning by your behavior. Showing respect, kindness and consideration for those you are around will give your child the chance to learn that there are different kinds of people, and that they should all be shown respect. Let your child know that they should look someone in the eye when speaking. Let them know that proper words like “yes” and “no” instead of “yeah” and “uh-huh.” There are things that your child won’t know, so it’s your place to teach your child the right way.

[image - childhealing.com]

In The Know
When parents have the correct skills and know-how, they will find that the job is fairly easy when it comes to teaching their child the value of respect. If the parent is not equipped with the right skills, there are parenting classes that help teach parents some of these things.

Show your child that listening when people speak to them is a big part of demonstrating respect. If your child has something he wants to show or tell you, or even if they want to make an attempt to explain why they misbehaved, make a strong effort to listen and hear them out. Put yourself face to face at his level, give him all your attention and look him in the eye so he knows you’re listening and understanding what he is saying. It can take time and patience to listen to your preschooler, but this is the way you teach your children to listen.

Most parents naturally feel upset when their child shows a lack of respect, especially if it is directed at you. It’s best to avoid overreacting to their disrespectful behavior. Instead of letting this upset you and overreacting, deal with the behavior calmly but firmly. Again, sit face to face with your child and explain that the type of behavior they just displayed is not acceptable. Let him know that you won’t tolerate his actions towards you or anyone else. Show your child how he can better his chances of getting what he wants by showing respectful behavior.

As well as it is important to teach your child the value of respecting others, it is equally important that you teach him how to respect himself. Unless your child knows the true value of self-respect, it will be tough battle to teach him the value of respecting others.


Thank you, Kelsey for this wonderful guest post. Kelsey writes about parenting, self help & more at http://dentalinsurance.net.


  1. You have such wonderful points in your post. Many parents forget that their child is observing them and picking up some things.

    These days many parents do not have the time and the patience to listen to their child because of the hectic life. Also, they forget that the child is an individual with his own thought process.

    1. This post reminded me of a post called Parenting Outsourced on Purba's A-Musing blog. You can find it here.


      Do look it up, LP, if you have not already seen it.

  2. Great post! Yes, self-respect is so much more important than saying and doing the right things to earn praise/attention from others.

  3. Wonderful post.... i totally stand by the second point... set an example.

  4. really good post subho .only it is too short . hope in future u will enlarge it to help new parents. Our time for parenting is gone. but at least we can learn to be better grandparents. Dont know how incomplete our parenting had been but looking at you and tipu I feel very happy that you have imbibed the right values whether from us or from the universe .

  5. Hi Subhorup

    A very nice post and apt for me, being the mother of a pre-schooler . Respect for oThers and self is something they need to learn .

  6. I am a teacher of primary school kids and one of the rules of our class is "Listen to Everyone". A lot of children naturally pay attention when their teachers speak but not when their peers speak or interact in the class. Hence, it is important to teach them right when they are very young that listening to others signifies respecting others. I really enjoyed reading your post. :)

    1. Thanks, Pranav, for sharing your thoughts here, and welcome to SJD. Children disregarding the space and needs of their peers tends to be overlooked by parents as something they will grow out of. It should extend not only to peers, but also to nature and to the environment.

  7. Hi Subhorup

    This post was a great share, especially for me being the mother of a pre-schooler. Oh My! Its just not easy yet fun :) Respect is important both mutual and for the self.

    Ok, This is my fourth attempt at leaving a comment, hope it works! :)

  8. Subhorup, well written article. Children's best book is the lifestyle and mannerisms of their own parents!

  9. Nicely written. Children pickup the mannerisms of their parents and behave in similar manner as those experiences get recorded in their child ego state. So one needs to be very careful while dealing with children.

  10. Absolutely agree with the points! Sometimes, I feel parents are being weighed down by everyone with their own expectations of what they ought to do. Discipline and planning is as important as spontaneity in parenting.

  11. very well written post .. yes learning begins at home so we have to very careful in what we do because children are very good at grasping things .. they become what we are and then we blame the society ..its actually a mirror image of oneself !

  12. I shudder to think what would be the product of such a well-thought-out upbringing. Any of you comedians actually have a living kid at home?


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