Part of our jobs as parents is to help our children learn to be responsible, respectful, trustworthy members of society.
While younger kids may not always understand trustworthiness and respect, there are many ways to start teaching children these values early.
Here are some helpful tips for teaching children to be trustworthy.
Signs of Respect
Even very young children can learn basic signs of respect. Work with your children early on about how to show respect. Some ways kids can show respect include:
- Looking at people when they talk.
- Respecting other peoples’ property when they borrow something.
- Using words like please and thank you.
- Not swearing at others, even when upset.
- Sharing/offering to share.
Discuss the Importance of Trustworthiness
Children learn faster and are more likely to follow a behavior when they understand the reason behind it. Rather than simply demanding respectful behavior from your child, talk with them about what respect/trust means and why it’s important to show. Allow your child to ask questions about trustworthiness and talk through different real-life examples as well. Ultimately, make sure your child understands that it’s important to treat others the way you want to be treated. Your child would want their property taken care of well if it were borrowed, which is why they should do the same with someone else’s property.
Talk Through Disrespect
Children’s minds are still developing. Even as they learn how to be respectful, they will not be perfect. It’s very common to see kids falter when it comes to respecting. Use instances of disrespect as learning opportunities. Teach your child when they are being disrespectful, and, most importantly, explain why. Tell them why their behavior is disrespectful, and work with them to discuss how they could have been more respectful. Many times, disrespect arises when kids are upset or angry, so it is important to talk about how they can cool down before responding, etc.
Teaching kids respect is not only about pointing out mistakes, it’s also about reminding kids when they are doing a great job. Let your child know when they are doing a great job of showing respect and trustworthiness.
Trust and respect take a long time to develop, but it can help to start working on those concepts at an early age. Teaching your children how to be trustworthy is essential for helping them develop into beneficial members of society.