Now that I've included a poll in my blog, about the different values we should teach children, I'd like to write a bit about RESPECT. This is a value that is very much mentiones nowadays, but at the same it's not very much put into practice, to say it in a direct way. The question would be... What is it that we teach when we teach respect? and How do we teach this value to kids?
I'm the kind of people, who strongly believe that teaching values is just a matter of proving good examples. Then, if I want to teach kds to respect either adults or their peers, I should start by respecting themselves. How do I do this? With concrete actions. Whenever I see kids are struggling for something such as a toy or any other thing, and they start insulting each other or making obscene offences, I tend to come closer and make them realize that what they are doing is WRONG. Yes, that's what I do. I make them stop, and reflect upon what they have just said or done. Sometimes I put forwards questions such as:
Do you think that's correct? Why are you doing that? is that the correct way of treating others? I gues you wouldn't like being treated in that way, wouldn't you? So, I am a strong supporter of the idea of making them STOP, AND REFLECT.
I do know this is not an easy task, but it has proved to be successful, at least to me. Now, coming back to the moment, I make kids stop and reflect upon their previous behaviour, I try to encourage them to apologize for what they've done, and promise not to do it again. Again, engaging children into such commitments will give them the opportunity for learning other values which are highly realted to RESPECT itself.
We don't have to forget that kids are very much influenced by TV programmes in which unrespecful events happen, so they tend to consider that as common and ordinary behaviour in life. Again, we should be in charge of explaining them, that those actions are not good, and that they shouldn't imitate them.
Of course, all these suggestions must be done, in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, when your child will listen to you quietly.
Good luck! =)