When you receive your job description *cough* at the point where they hand you the child who is now your whole responsibility, you realise that it’s 100% up to you to raise that child to be a decent human. In time you realise that part of that includes how to raise a respectful child. And that’s when the quest begins. After all, respect starts at home. Children are, by nature, curious and intelligent. They have a lot of potential to grow and learn about the world around them. However, as parents, we need to teach them how to be respectful. This is not always easy but it is something that we can do with a little patience and understanding.

This is a collaborative article.

Children often push boundaries and test their limits, and it’s your job as a parent to keep them in check and make sure they are behaving respectfully towards others (and themselves). There are lots of things you can do to encourage respectful behaviour in your child, as explored below by a private school in Essex.

teach your child manners

Establish boundaries

It is important to have set rules for what is acceptable behaviour and what isn’t so that children know what to expect from themselves and others. The more consistent you are with these rules, the easier it will be for your child to understand them and follow them.

It is also important to establish boundaries for children so that they are aware of what is appropriate and what is not.

Be a Good Role Model

Parents are often guilty of demanding a level of respect from their children that they don’t receive in return. However, you cannot expect your child to behave respectfully if you don’t demonstrate to them what respect actually is. So, be a good role model. Listen to your child and make sure that they know their opinions are valued, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them. Don’t shout when you’re angry, as this is not a respectful way to resolve conflict. Show them what being respectful is all about. 

how to raise a respectful child

Focus on Good Manners

One key element of respect is being polite. Be sure to gently remind your child to say please and thank you, until they remember on their own. Say please and thank you to them too, so that they can see that it’s a normal part of communication. A key aspect of how to raise a respectful child is teaching them good manners.

Stick to the Rules

It will be difficult for your child to respect you and your rules if you don’t stick to them. With this in mind, punish your child appropriately if they break the rules, so that they know that bad behaviour won’t be tolerated. The child should not be allowed to make decisions that go against the rules.

Be patient

It may take time for your child to learn how to be respectful of and kind to others. Kindness is so important. As they grow they will start to pick up on your behaviour so try not to get frustrated if they don’t understand right away. If you are patient with them, they will eventually understand what you want from them.

Praise Your Child

Just like punishing your child when they behave badly, praising them when they demonstrate respectful behaviour is equally, if not more, important. If you notice your child sharing their toys with their friends during a playdate, let them know afterwards that you are proud of them and why. This should encourage them to repeat the same behaviour going forward. 

These are a few of the key tips on how to raise a respectful child, and how to make sure that the kids who we release into the world are well-grounded, respectful decent human beings.