How do you Feel?
15 February 2019
Nothing stirs up an adult quite as quickly as a disrespectful child or teenager. A child who answers back, is rude or openly defiant, intolerant or who ignores a simple request. Respect is defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. That is the kind of respect that is earned. Respect can also be defined as consideration for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others. This is the kind of respect that we want to develop in our students.
The underlying principle of respect is that each person has value. As Christians we believe that we have value because we were created in God’s image; a masterpiece of the God of the Universe. We believe God calls us His Children and that He died to save us. That gives each of us incredible value.
Based on the belief that each person is of value, respect dictates that we treat people with dignity and kindness, regardless of their character traits, how we feel about them or their behaviour or performance.
Here are some things that you can do to help your child develop a respectful outlook, resulting in respectful behaviour towards others: Walk the walk. We teach the most through modelling. We teach respect by giving it to our children and expecting it in return. If your child replicated your behaviour in the playground or classroom, would it be respectful?
Cultivate an inclusive attitude that looks for the good in others. It’s easy to focus on the negatives but when our children hear us being critical, it’s hard for them to see others as valuable and worthy of respect. Practise affirming others and pointing out positives in front of your child. This builds a child’s capacity to see others as worthy of respect. Handle discipline and conflict discretely. When we embarrass our children by correcting them publicly in a way that causes humiliation, we are modelling disrespect . A child who feels inferior and unworthy finds it difficult to show respect.
Expect Manners ALWAYS. Good manners are an easy way of showing respect. The act of using manners takes a child from an egocentric perspective to an acknowledgement that their lives impact the lives of others. The very self-focused outlook of ‘I need a band-aid NOW!’ could become, ‘Excuse me, could I please have a band-aid.’
Ensure children take responsibility for their actions. When children are ‘let off the hook’ they logically assume that they are somehow more special than everyone else. Expecting kids to clean up their own mess, act with independence and make things right when they have hurt someone reinforces the concept of respect.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Head of Primary