Teaching Respect To Children
Our lives are made up of so many habits, most of which we don’t even realize we have and, whether they’re good or bad, all habits are very hard to change.
I heard a preacher this weekend say if you don’t believe that you are bound by habits and that they are hard to change then try this: Ladies, the next time you shave, start with the leg opposite the one you usually start with. Men, try shaving the opposite side of your face first. Even something that small and unimportant is hard to change.
This is why teaching your children good habits when they are young is so very important.
We often hear about teaching our kids good grooming habits, eating habits and learning habits but one thing I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talk about is teaching your kids respect for the things around them.
What do I mean by that? Well here is a list of some things parents often don’t teach their kids about and, in some cases, the parents don’t even do themselves.
- Set things on a table carefully, making sure you won’t scratch or mar the table by doing so. Find a coaster if you need one.
- Make sure you don’t have mud on your shoes before coming into a home. Wipe your feet or take off your shoes. Cleaning or replacing carpet is expensive.
- If you drag a chair or something across a hardwood floor, stop and ask yourself, "Will this scratch the floor?"
- Don’t jump on furniture. Kids jumping or sitting on the backs and arms of furniture can wear out the furniture ten times faster. Furniture is expensive to replace.
- Sit gently in a chair. Don’t flop down hard– and especially don’t lean back on the legs of a chair.
- When using the bathroom, make sure it is left clean and neat for the next person.
- Don’t write on walls or furniture.
- Don’t get into someone’s car with mud caked on your feet.
- When eating food, be sure to use a napkin or a plate so you don’t drop crumbs everywhere, even if all you’re eating is a cookie.
I could go on with examples of things to do when teaching respect to children but I think you get the idea. Because we have so many possessions, a lot of which are disposable, we don’t bother to take care them properly. If they get messed up, it is easier just to buy a new one than it is to take time to teach our children good habits about respecting and taking care of things. As parents we, ourselves, often don’t bother to take the time to take care of things.
The problem with that attitude is that we tend to lose respect for our things and even worst for other people and their things.
There was a reason that the generations that preceded us taught rules, habits and manners to their children. We have thrown so many of those rules and habits away that we can’t even remember what they are or why we had them.
Let’s wake up and look at our habits and our children’s habits. Replace bad habits with some good ones. Start with showing respect for everyone and everything.
P.S. Just after I wrote this, I saw a show where the children had floor to ceiling shelves full of toys. What was their favorite pastime? Throwing toys out a second story window to see if they would break. They knew that, if they broke the toys, mom and dad would buy them more.
In the show, they took all but 10 toys away from the children and guess what? The children were so careful with those 10 toys because they knew those toys were all they were getting.
Photo By: Gray Marchiori-Simpson