Teaching Children They Deserve Respect


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Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back with another Slice of Life Post and today I want to touch on something that all kids need to learn. They need to learn they deserve respect.


Photo via Visualhunt.com

This is one of the things I worry about while I’m in the process of raising two boys. We’re very good at telling them they need to respect adults, their friends, and family members, but I think as parents we forget our kids are also entitled to receive respect.


This is one of the reasons I believe bullying is such a problem.

Photo credit: Nellie0224 via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

 Teaching our children they have value even if they don’t have a lot of life experience,  is one of the keys to building self-esteem. How do we do this? That is a very good question and I’m so glad you asked.

Photo credit: cameraburps via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

We do this by asking their opinions. By asking them to help make family decisions. Recently, my husband and I were car shopping, and we brought the boys along. When we test drove a car, we asked them how they felt about it. We really listened to their input. This is one of the key ways to teach them how to not only articulate their opinions, but also how to negotiate for what they want. Important life skills, don’t you agree?

Photo via Visualhunt.com

Another way we can teach our kids they deserve respect is for us, parents, to respect them when they reach out to us. Don’t brush off their concerns or worries because we’ve got bigger problems to contend with. We have to be patient and realize whatever our child is dealing with, it’s probably a brand new experience and he needs help on how to handle it.

All kids grow at their own pace, we as parents need to respect that pace. Whether it’s fast enough for us or not. Because at this point, it is all about them, isn’t it?

We need to teach our kids to recognize disrespect for what it is and not react to it, to not let it damage their self-esteem. A fast recovery from these slights is important for our kids to have a more fulfilling life, wouldn’t you agree?

So how do you teach your child to handle disrespect? I struggled with this one because I have a hard time with this myself. I always think of a great come back five hours later. I shouldn’t even be thinking about the incident five hours later! But I digress.

It depends on the situation, but I’ve found that the best way to deal with this is to use “I” messages.

“I feel disrespected when you talk to me in that tone of voice.”

No one disrepects a lion, right?

Photo via Visual Hunt

The reason I think “I” messages are important is because it doesn’t put the bully on the defensive. Your child isn’t saying anything about him. He’s communicating his feelings. Whereas if his response were:

“You’re being mean to me.”

Then the bully will argue. You’re child and the antagonizer will get into a debate on whether or not he is being mean, and then there won’t be a satisfactory conclusion to the confrontation.

In the first scenario, it opens up an opportunity for your child and the bully to come to an understanding and maybe even become closer. That’s what we’re trying to do, isn’t it? Become closer? To have a better understanding of our peers and have mutual respect for each other?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you have any ideas, I’d love to read them. Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!


Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers for creating The Slice of Life! If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts click here.








About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
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23 Responses to Teaching Children They Deserve Respect

  1. Bernadette says:

    Very good advise for children but some adults could benefit from your words too.

  2. Tara Smith says:

    Great post – one that I will share with my colleagues. We have to live what we teach.

  3. sharonledwith says:

    Awesome post, Lisa! (As usual) You hit it on the head – kids need to be respected too. I wish I was brought on into some family discussions, but it was a different time, a different generation. I’d like to think we’ve grown and evolved as adults. And you’re right about how everyone respects a lion, but we ALL respect a skunk just as much by its reputation alone! LOL! Cheers, girl!

  4. marilynyung says:

    I agree with you that “I” statements are the best. The opposite “You” statements just give encourage the bully to have the last word, which only prolongs the confrontation. Enjoyed this post!

  5. Maureen says:

    Yes! Children deserve respect – rather than the often clear “children must earn respect.” There is no better way to teach mutual respect than to offer respect first. Thank you!

  6. Yes, the ‘I feel’ scenarios are what counsellors advise, rather than the ‘you are’ accusatory tone. Good post.

  7. joanneeddy says:

    Good points, Lisa! I think getting input from kids is very valuable…they will spend a lot of time in the back seat of that car! As someone with a clinical background, I used to recommend holding “Family Council” meetings (and did this with my family) not only to discuss decisions (Where would we like to go on vacation) but to assign tasks that contributed to the household, and even to discuss the consequences when anyone wasn’t doing their share. I do think you are right in believing their opinion should count (even if Mom and Dad make the final decision) and that this helps build self-respect. You are also wise about using I messages…though sometimes kids want to try a version of ” I think you are being mean” so need a bit of practice with them! Thanks for sharing this Lisa! Jo

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Joanne. I love the idea of family council meetings! I’m going to start doing that, too! Thanks for sharing your ideas with all of us!

  8. Mom and Dad are pretty good about this. They give us choices, and consider our inputs (even if the output is different).

  9. Bernadette says:

    Lisa, Thanks for taking the time to post.

  10. Bill says:

    I’ll immediately take hold of your rss as I can not to find your email
    subscription link or e-newsletter service.

    Do you have any? Please let me understand so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks. http://www.yahoo.net

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