How to Teach your Child to Respect Elders?

3,105 Views Updated: 09 Jun 2018
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How to Teach your Child to Respect Elders?

There are several ways to teach your child about respect and discipline, and the first lesson starts from their home. They learn to admire and consider the value of regarding people coming from every walk of life, especially their elders including grandparents and other mature adults. Children aren't born with an inbuilt respect mechanism. So, you are the one who needs to formulate a correct answer to what does respect mean to a child. Therefore, here is how to teach a child about respect and discipline in regard to their behavior with elders. 

Parenting Tips: How To Teach A Child To Respect Elders?

#1. Explain The Value Of Seniors 

Respect Elders! No, don't resort to the way because you said so, hence they need to do so. This attitude initiates an opposite reaction in kids. For that reason, simply saying or commanding wouldn't solve the problem. You have to teach children to respect elders by letting them know the real worth of those elders. And this category of people not only includes grandparents, but also their teachers, your family, friends, relatives, siblings, and neighbors, etc. The activity gives your growing child a perspective of his/ her own, and they also learn the actual value of elders around them.
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#2. Coach Them Like Kids Not Friends

Not absolute but at least a partial parental authority and control should be maintained when it comes to teaching children to respect elders. Remember that at the end of the day, your child is not your friend but your son/ daughter. You need to coach them for a better functioning in the society. When the child enters his/ her teenage or adulthood is when you can become a friend to them. But, right now, it's your responsibility to be a limit setter, be a coach and not be their buddy who lets them away with just anything. You have to teach them to respect each and every person and not just you.

#3. Get In An Alignment

How to teach a child about respect and discipline? Get yourself and your spouse aligned on the same page, so you two can work as a team when it comes to parenting the kid. Make sure the two of you move shoulder to shoulder. It means, one parent shouldn't give a green signal to the child's immoral behavior when the other parent is trying to rectify the same. Come up with such an action plan whose blueprint is accessible to both the parents and no one displays a confusing behavior in front of the child.
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#4. Do Not Set Unrealistic Behavior Expectations

You don't have to set highly unrealistic expectations for your child to achieve. Teaching children to respect elders take time and creative efforts. So, you will have to be very clear about the things you are expecting from them. Tell them that the behavior matters to you and so they shouldn't disappoint you. But don't sound authoritative, so they act in this manner just for the sake of doing. 
They need to take all your advice seriously, and hence you need to make sure how to set the boundaries. And this also means that you need to expect a little low and act a little more. For instance, if your child really gets upset seeing a crowd around and you plan to get him in a social gathering with more than 30 people, disappointment is what you're going to face. But in case they even reach halfway towards the goal, credit them for their accomplishment and tell them they met your expectations

#5. Don't Take Things Personally

Are you one of those parents who assume your child's behavior very personally? If yes, do know probably even your neighbor's son is the same! Not only that, your cousin's daughter too is doing the same with her parents. So, don't fall for this trap and deal with your own child's behavior as objectively as possible. You are the one accountable for managing your child's thoughts and emotions. If he/ she is too rigid, you didn't have the right ways to get them under control and listen to you.
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#6. Teach Them To Respect Diversity

One of the best ways to teach your child about respecting people from all walks of life is to make sure they observe such people and spend quality time with them. You are the one to make your kid understand that they don't have to be judgmental of others, their traditions or appearance. 
He/ she may come across several people in life, and hence respecting the diversity helps them earn the same respect in return. Differences need to be respected! Therefore, spending time with elders makes them learn a lot about the lifestyle and the correct way of communicating with them.

#7. Do They Know About The Basics Of Politeness?

You need to ensure that your kid is addressing elders in the most appropriate way. His/ her way of conversation should be absolutely suitable. For instance, your boy or girl should always address an elder person by Mr. or Ms. followed by their last name or just call them Ma'am/ Sir. It's up to the person if they allow the child to call them with a more casual title. 
Also, let them know that displaying the signs of boredom while talking with an elder is objectionable. They should maintain an eye contact while talking and no swearing words. You should also demonstrate for them to know when it's right to say sorry or thank you. Let them really know what it means to be polite. How to teach a child respect and discipline? Teach him/ her to help others when they need, be friendly and not rude, become a good listener and adopt other such good manners.
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#8. Nip The Problem In The Bud

Don't let any of the negative things slide through while you are teaching children to respect elders. Best parenting tip is to not let the problem go beyond the acceptable levels. Even a minor violation can make way for a permanent immoral conduct. Try not to embarrass them while correcting but peacefully discuss the issue. And provide them with a clarity why their behavior was inappropriate.

#9. Encourage Them To Spend Quality Time With Trusted/ Family Elders

You cannot teach the best ever things unless they do not experience a similar environment. So, it is important for your child to not just gain a bookish knowledge, but also know how it feels when they are around the wise old people. If they don't have grandparents, take them to an old age home or leave them with elders of the extended family or that of your friends. You need to imbibe the idea of friendliness in your kid's mind, so he/ she don’t feel a discomfort or disconnect.
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(Image Courtesy: Family Education)

#10. Be A Good Role Model

Not only do you have to teach your child about all the good manners, but even act in a similar way. If the child observes his/ her parents being irresponsible towards elders, do you expect them to not follow an identical pattern? 

Let them see you doing the things that you preach. Mannerism can be practiced over the time, but it can also be adopted while observing and through societal encounters. If you are becoming a caregiver to your own parent and your child witnesses such behavior each day, you are inculcating in them the right kind of feelings and habits towards elders and their acceptance.
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