“Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.” ~Albert Einstein
It is a wonderful time to bond with your child or children no matter what age they may be. Even older children need respect and encouragement from their parents. When was the last time you gave your child or children eye contact and told them how proud you are of them?
Everyone needs words of affirmation, especially from those who we love. Our children are truly gifts to us from God. This is a great responsibility God has entrusted us. We have been given the opportunity to actually nurture and love one of God’s creations. What a great blessing! This nurturing includes any number of lessons to teach our precious cargo. Proverbs 21:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
The lesson today deals with how to teach children respect. It will be difficult for a child to respect God if he or she doesn’t respect his or her parents. What they hear us say or do on a daily basis rings loud and clear in their minds. A child will blindly model what they see in the home before taking advice from outsiders. Usually this is their baseline of truth.
It is stated by God for us to, “Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.” God didn’t put an age limit on the honoring of our parents. A child doesn’t learn to honor by osmosis. This must be taught. We must first lead our children to see the value of respecting their own parents and individuals in their environment. How do you model respect in the home for your children?
The first step to respect is being still and listening in order to intelligently answer with soft, kind and respectful words. Then teach your children the difference between facts an opinions. Opinions are just not worthy of disrespect. I was taught early in life how to learn to agree to disagree. You should not feel bad if others disagree with what you believe. My mother taught me, “You will stand for something or fall for anything.” She would also say, “Think before you speak.”
If you don’t have anything kind to say, you should not say anything at all. We show our children the art of respect by showing them how to listen. Problem solving should not include harmful aggression in the nature of physical altercation or a disrespect tone of voice. We must practice this skill of listening and thinking before we speak, so that speaking in a respectful manner is second nature.
Examine your daily situations and discover respectful words you can use in various challenging situations.