Tuesday, January 19, 2016

21 Ways to Teach Your Child to be Respectful

One of the biggest challenges for parents, no matter the child’s age, is getting said angels to realize this big green ball does not revolve around their being.  The stumping point for most is in the “how.”  How do I teach my child to think of others and not just himself?  How do I teach her to act like a lady? How do I teach them to show respect?

Well, there isn’t any textbook or pamphlet, no course, drill, or test for selfless behavior and respect. But we do have the Word and the ultimate model from our Father.  "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." --Mark 10:45 (NIV)

It is by no happenstance that you are your child’s parent. You were chosen specifically for your child, and within you, through Him, you have all that you need to teach this selfless love for others and raise respectful children. Of course, your children also have free will . . . but that’s a topic for another day!

We teach such things by doing--by modeling respect and service. We know that our children are watching and listening even in those moments we wish they weren’t . . . you know, like that time when your five-year-old shared with the whole class that you don’t always wear pajamas to bed and that she's afraid that if the house catches on fire, you won't be able to get dressed quickly enough to get out of the house. (Okay . . . that one might have been ME when I was five . . . and yes, my mother was mortified when the teacher told her what I had said during a PTA meeting!) So yes, rest assured, your children are paying attention to EVERYTHING.

Here are just a few ways to model and “teach” your child to show respect toward others as well as themselves, to serve Him from whom we are created, and to start giving back to the big green ball!
1. Never buy clothing with words across the buttocks for yourself or your child . . . just don’t.
2. Chew with your mouth closed . . . no one wants to see all that.
3. When you finish shopping, put the cart back, even if it means walking back in the store.
4. Be kind if the waiter gets your food order wrong; you have bad days at work too.
5. Kiss your spouse FIRST when you get home at night! (That first kiss came before the kiddos, you know!)
6. Let the guy behind you with one item go ahead of you in line. You just might make his day!
7. Always leave a tip. ALWAYS.
8. Use “ma’am” and “sir,” with folks older than you or in a position of authority--especially in the south.
9. While waiting, give up your seat to the adult standing, no matter how old he or she is.
10. Throw your hand up in appreciation to the driver who lets you into traffic--and then be sure to let someone in yourself.
11. Hold the door--yes, even the elevator door. Your floor isn’t going anywhere.
12. Say “please” and “thank you,” even among friends. They are STILL magic words.
13. Save the TV and iPad for long car trips. There is no substitute for quality conversation and sing-a-longs!
14. Always support your child’s teacher in front of your child; if you must disagree with her, do so in private.
15. Let the doctors and dentists do their job. They are professionals.
16. Be on time, but if you do arrive late, sit in the back.
17. Prepare ONE meal at night! Your home is NOT Burger King.
18. Dance with your spouse in the kitchen . . . dinner won’t burn in those few seconds.
19. Run an errand for a friend, prepare a meal for a grieving family, send a card via snail mail . . . just be there.
20. Sometimes the reward or treat is a job well done. Period.

And last, but not least . . .

21. Chill out and remind YOURSELF that your child is not the center of all things living!

Be gracious.  Be grateful.  Do good.  Your children will follow your lead!

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