Children learn best by imitation and one of the strongest influences on them is their parents. They hear and see almost everything you say and do whether you are aware of it or not. And they adopt it as their default behavior. This is one of the reasons why parenting is hard work. Because our children grow up to be the person you want them to be with you as a constant, powerful role model.
These are few tips to help you curb disrespectful behavior and teach your child to understand what it means to have respect (http://www.respectresearchgroup.org/respect_107__Respect_topics_as_the_focus_of_research.htm) for someone and why they should respect you and other people:
-Show a good example. Raising respectful children cannot be done without being respectful to them and others. Explain why it is better to treat someone with respect and how it makes other people feel when you disrespect them. A good way to help a child understand the consequences of bad behavior is to compare and discuss how he felt when someone called him bad words or didn’t listen to what he had to
-Allow children to learn on their own. A good parenting doesn’t mean you must hover over your children and always be around to resolve situations. Allow your child to make some age appropriate decisions by presenting them with few selected choices. Start with small decisions (i.e. what will they wear or eat) and as he learns you can expand his options to more serious choices. This way he will learn about responsibility and consequences, respect you for giving them the power to choose and build self-respect.
-Show expectations. Make sure your child knows what is reasonably expected of her. This encourages her to do tasks or show behaviors they otherwise may not be motivated to do.
-Don’t be a superhero. It’s better to act as a coach rather than a superhero who is always there to take care of your child’s challenges for them. Treat your child with respect. If your child asks questions about accomplishing something, you can use this reply to guide her: “How do you think you should do it?” or “If you do this, what do you think could happen?” This encourages creative thinking and problem solving.
-Understand and correct disrespectful behavior. Always consider why your child is acting the way he is. Children are constantly growing and learning and it’s normal to make mistakes. Sometimes they hear or see behaviors from others, or you, and sometimes they may be tired or angry about something else but lack the words and experience to express their feelings. Learn how your child deals with emotions and you will recognize the reasons for her behavior. And then find a solution.
-Praise good behavior. When your child is speaking respectfully or treating others with respect, don’t miss the opportunity to praise her or reward her with extra privileges. Studies indicate people remember how something or someone made them feel rather than the spoken words. So by praising your child you create positive feelings that make her feel happy and good about herself which is a basis for future positive choice making.
Respect is a basic human right. Raising our children as respectful adults (http://www.education.com/magazine/article/teaching-children-respect/) will help them resolve future conflict situations through negotiations and dialogue, treat themselves and others with dignity and help them build productive relationships based on mutual trust and respect.