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Children take their cues from their parents and teachers. When kids spend more time with respectful adults, they tend to show more respect to people. Remember, all kinds of shouting, cursing, swearing and yelling are transferred to the child and give out wrong signals. Young ones have a habit of imitating their parents and teachers and once disrespectful behaviour is instilled, it takes years of refining to negate it. Here are 7 simple ways of making your child or student more respectful.

1. Be the role model: If you want the kids to behave in a particular manner, you have to behave in the same way too. You cannot rave and rant and expect the kids to be polite. Speak to them with respect and you will be surprised not only by their respect but a radical change in their behaviour. At the same time you need to treat others with respect too so that the kids can see and emulate.

2. Raise your expectations: Children react according to what the situation demands. If you are lenient, chances are they will take you lightly. But if you have high levels of expectations from them in terms of respect then they will also rise to the occasion. While raising your expectations do remember that they are kids and not adults.

3. Teach them: Emulating and learning is the best way to foster respect among small children. But once in a while you need to teach them the proper ways to show respect. This can be done by role playing situations where you spell out the actual salutations or etiquettes that they need to follow. As you cannot expect them to face all kinds of situations in the confinements of the home or classroom, enact scenes from real life situations and train their behaviour accordingly.

4. Applaud them: When children use respectful language or display polite behaviour, then praise them wholeheartedly. Say that you are proud of them. Recognize their efforts and this will make them more positive in their approach. Reprimanding happens very often, but how many of us actually applaud good behaviour?

5. Illustrate: Of course one way is by behaving in the way you want them to behave. The other is picking out incidents from real life and discussing with the child. The incidents can be both positive and negative. When you witness a scene where another child is being disrespectful, point this out to your child. Discuss the wrong way in which the child is behaving and how this could have been different.

6. Correct them: Be firm with the kids but do not show them disrespect while trying to instill respect in them. Do not give in to display of disrespect at any time. Do not postpone reprimanding them for later. Do it instantly so that the child is careful in future not to behave in a similar manner. But while pointing out disrespectful behaviour, see to it that you don’t humiliate the child in front of others.

7. Reward them: Respect should be an all time thing so how do you reward them every time? The reward should be in the form of extra responsibilities and privileges along with praise and recognition. Teaching respect to kids as a parent or as a teacher is not a one time thing but should be an all time effort. As a parent or as a teacher, this can take time and try your patience along with the need to practice what you preach all the time. But remember, once the respect has been instilled and comes from within, no amount of anger or disrespect can dislodge it. So, it’s well worth the effort to create a generation of respectful children.

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