How To Teach Your Kids Respect

If there’s one quality to teach your kids, it should be respect. Technology and media have come a long way since the days we were kids. There are so many movies, TV shows, even music and games that depict anger and rude behavior. And kids learn by example, so when they see that these behaviors are common and seemingly accepted by everyone, they’ll think that it is alright to act that way. This is where YOU as a parent come in.

Respect isn’t a trait that is built-in, it is something that needs to be taught and encouraged. And being their parent, you are the person that they will look up to no matter what; you will be the one to shape who they will become in the future.

How To Teach Your Kids Respect Define Respect, Talk About It, Praise Respectful Behavior, Be An Example

Here are some ways to help teach your kids how to respect not only you, but everyone around them. The points beneath the check mark designate what you can do and how you can act, while points under the lightning bolt give you specific examples of the action.

Define Respect Definition Different parents and families have different meanings of respect. For some, respectful behavior may include greeting elders by using the mano po gesture; for others, it may be the use of polite language and phrases. Application Before teaching your kids about respect, you and your hubby might want to sit down and define it first, and outline behaviors and attitudes that go with your definition of respect. Talk About It Definition Once you've defined what respect is and the behaviors and attitudes that go with it, explain to your kids what respect is all about. Application Tell them stories about people respecting others, and how it is the right thing to do. Praise Respectful Behavior Definition When you see your kids behaving respectfully, let them know that you've noticed it. Application Instead of saying, "Good job, kid!" be more detailed and say something like, "Thank you for asking for permission to borrow the TV remote." They will learn faster if we tell them what it is they did right. Be An Example Definition How can you teach your kids to be respectful? The best way is by example. Kids like to copy everything they see, and they learn a lot by example. Application If you show your kids that you respect them, your spouse, and others around you, they will hopefully try to copy the way you act.

In this day and age, there are a lot of ways for your kids to learn disrespectful actions and behaviors. That is why it is important that you ingrain respect in your kids at a young age. They will always look up to you since you are their guide and role model, and when they see that you respect others, they will see it as something that is very important—and it will hopefully shape them in the future.



  1. Mansfield, Becky. “Raising Kids to be Responsible Adults–Stop Entitlement.” Your Modern Family. Date accessed January 3, 2017.
  2. Lehman, Janet. “Do Your Kids Respect You? 9 Ways to Change Their Attitude.” Empowering Parents. Date accessed January 3, 2017.
  3. Kear, Nicole Caccavo. “The Return of Respect!” Parents. Last modified November 2010.
  4. VanClay, Mary. “The Respectful Child: How to Teach Respect (Age 5).” Baby Center. Date accessed January 3, 2017.


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