We all love to be respected, it is in our nature. It is not just humans, even animals like being treated with respect. As time flies fast and your little one grows up, remember that each and every good value and lesson that you sow into their lives will also grow up with them and will be a part of their lives. If you miss sowing good habits and values from a young age, your little one will grow up without them.
You might have heard people say things about children such as "This child is a pain and doesn't know how to behave or respect their elders." Typically, this kind of comment is followed up by someone saying "This is their parents’ fault, they have not taught their children good values." As a parent, you never want your child facing a situation like this. Let’s see how we can help our children learn good values such as respecting others.
During their first few years, your child grow up mostly interacting with you. As they reach 3 years and upwards, they start associating and interacting with others and can identify who their grandparents, aunts and uncles are. At this age, it is important to teach your children how to show respect adults. Here are some things you can do.
Teach your child to respect visitors
It is important to acknowledge and respect guests. Remember children learn from observing so they will be able to inculcate basic values by seeing how you welcome and treat visitors.
In addition to hugging and embracing adults, Sri Lankan culture places great value on the practice of worshipping adults. If your cultural values are aligned to doing this, then you need to teach your children to do so from an early age. Some parents complain saying "my child does not worship anyone, he is very arrogant." Saying such things in front of the child is not advised as it will further reinforce their actions. A better remedy would be to show through your own examples about the importance of respecting and worshipping adults in your culture.
Don't miss out on the small opportunities to teach
As you travel with your child you will meet various people. For instance, you might meet a former teacher of yours. If you speak to your teacher with respect and honour your child will notice this. When you meet an elderly relation, the respect and acknowledgement you show to that person will be observed by your child and they will automatically start imitating those behaviours themselves. So do not miss out on these important small opportunities to instil good values in your child.
Don't criticize anyone in front of a child
Sometimes parents release certain emotions and outbursts without a second thought. However, we strongly advise you to avoid criticizing others in front of a child. Family members from both parents’ sides will have various differences but comparing those differences in front of a child is not a good habit. A little child’s mind absorbs and retains a lot of things. When they hear you criticize or disrespect certain people even for a short moment, they will associate those words for a longer-lasting duration.
Your child deserves respect
We always tell children that they need to respect parents and adults. But we also need to treat a child with respect. This is how you will be able to teach the value of respect to your child. When they receive respect, they will realize its value and that is a good thing to do so. Parents make a crucial mistake of criticizing their children in public or talking about them as if they are not of value. This type of behaviour will cultivate negative values and without you realizing it, your children will start doing the same.
Stories are a great way to communicate
Literature and books are a great way to teach children about good habits and values. Tell your children stories, even those about respecting animals. Imparting knowledge this way is a great means to connect and have fun with your child and is a wonderful opportunity to teach them values. This will nourish their souls. Poems and songs are also great tools to communicate good values and stories.