How do you explain "respect" to a child

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Original Post

This came up with my 6 year old recently and I just can NOT come up with simple wording to explain "respect" to him. As a general rule-he does respect adults (though he is pushing his boundaries on this issue at times now as he tries to assert his independence) but I tried to tell him the other day he needed to show his 3 year old brother a little more respect. He questioned me as to what respect was, and I could not explain it to him to where he could understand.


Posted at 6:22am Mar 22, 2010 EDT


drdjc says

I talked to my son about respect in terms of following the rules that are set by different people in different places. I also talked about being kind to people and how that is respecting people.

Posted at 6:28am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

I have a 7 year old, and what I told her about respect was that it means be nice and do to others as she would want them to do to her. If she doesn't want her sister to play with her toys, then she has to "respect" the fact that her sister doesn't want her to play with her toys sometimes either. Goes both ways. Using the toy example really made her understand the concept. Hope this helps :)

Posted at 6:28am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

Respect for a 6 year old is being nice to a person because they deserve it. They might deserve it because they are a nice person, or because they are hard-working or clever or kind.

That's what my mum told me when I was rude to the neighbour who shouted at me all the time. She said, "Just because you don't like her, doesn't mean she doesn't deserve respect! She is a very wise old lady so she deserves you to be nice to her." Does that help?

Posted at 6:30am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

Sonita - I was drilled with the old 'do as you would be done by' line. To me, in less oldtime language, that's what respect is for kids.

Respect is treating others as you would like them to treat you.

It's a difficult concept for a child to understand but if you relate it back to themselves in this way they might 'get' it.

Posted at 6:31am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

drdjc says

thats a great way to put it closet! you sure are wise :)

Posted at 6:35am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

I would probably explain it as treating others as you wish to be treated yourself.

Posted at 6:40am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

MamaVSoap says

"Treat people like you want to be treated" is how we explained it to the kids for interacting with other kids.

"Treat other adults like Mom and Dad" is how we approached respecting elders. That's a tricky one because not all adults are worthy of respect. But the flip side to that is we didn't leave MiniV with any adult that we didn't trust completely.

Posted at 6:46am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

blueditty says
esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
4.deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect's right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
5.the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.

Posted at 7:07am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

blueditty says

I suppose that dictionary interpretation really says it means to assume you like somebody and will treat them that way at all times.

Posted at 7:10am Mar 22, 2010 EDT

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