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Before I start, let me clarify, I am not an expert at raising children by any means. However, I raised three children, now grown, on my own and since life teaches us a lot of lessons, I have a lot of them to share with others. My children all graduated from High School with clean discipline records and that's something a Mom can be proud of.
How do you teach a child to be respectful? Most importantly of all, by example. Helping them to realize that everyone is molded from a different pattern. And it IS okay to be different. My oldest liked standard blue jeans. When my second son came along he loved the baggies. He now likes longer hair while the other keeps a short cut. Many times I reminded them that we all must be OURSELVES and no two people will ever be alike.
Teach your child that any person of a different color or with a disability is as much a person as they are, with the same rights.
Teaching your child respect for other people's property begins at home also. I never owned a home, so I taught mine early on that this wasn't OUR property and my kids were not allowed to do destructive things to it. If a child destroys someone else's property, teach them that there are consequences for their behavior and make them follup on paying for damage they have done. Just paying their way out of a situation fails to teach the child respect for the property of others.
I told my classes right up front that I taught eighth grade because I liked them. I went on to say they weren't children (which they liked to hear), but they hadn't had enough "life experience" yet to be fully adult. They seemed to find this concept of them respectful and they were more respectful of me.
By Sheilah Link from IN
Encourage your children to develop the social skill of writing thank you notes-on paper, sent with a postage stamp, etc. Buy a pack of thank-you cards suitable for children's age/gender and tuck into Christmas stockings. You might even address or at least write name on each envelope as gifts are opened that will need notes. Jot what the gift was where the stamp will go, or on the inside of envelope flap.