What does it mean to respect your children and how can you do it?
WORDS ANNA FERNANDEZ
According to Low Yin Siu, psychologist at National University Hospital’s Department of Paediatrics, a child who understands the value of respect would be more accepting of social diversities, and this would equip them with the essential values of selflessness and empathy while cultivating their social skills. If not taught the value of respect from young, they would be more likely to behave in an anti-social manner and develop anger management issues, while displaying a blatant disregard for rules and authority.
Here are just some methods you can adopt to ensure that your children will grow up to be respectful.
1. Don’t be a Helicopter Parent
Honour your child’s own personal space. This includes letting them own his or her own body. Refrain from constantly fussing over their hair or attire. Kids may view this as an invasion of their physical privacy. Children have different needs when it comes to personal space, so learning to respect what each child feels comfortable with may take some time, effort, and effective communication.
2. Let Your Children Speak and Think for Themselves
Once your child is old enough to carry a conversation, encourage her to speak her mind. And when she does, try not to get angry or annoyed. If a child is denied a voice every time she has an opinion which differs from those of adults, she'll shy away from asserting herself in the future.
Let your children express their thoughts by posing
open-ended questions so that they can learn that there isn't
always one right answer in life.
Teaching them they can arrive at their own answer rather than spoon-feeding it to them will help them trust their opinions. Plus, they'll get practice verbalising their views and listening to other sides of the argument. Explain to them how they can stand up for themselves and teach them how to do it politely.
3. Cool It with the Questions
Instead of grilling your children about what their day at school was like or how they did on the science quiz, try easing into it. If a child is constantly bombarded with questions, they may put up a wall. Give them some space and allow them a chance to talk about their day when they feel like it. Treating them with love and respect will make them feel comfortable and safe.
4. Refrain from Solving All Their Problems
If your child approaches you with a problem, be empathetic and ask them what they think should be the best solution.
Listen to them and suggest other possible solutions you
think there are and let them make the choice. They will feel
empowered if you give them a chance to make decisions on their own.
While parental protectiveness comes from a good place, mums and dads who don't cultivate their kids' problem-solving skills are doing them a disservice.