Teaching Children Respect in 5 Minutes or Less

Teaching children respect in 5 minutes or less!

Do you want to raise kids who care about others? Of course! Who doesn’t!?

Watch the short video below for ideas on teaching children respect and kindness.

In case you can’t watch a video right now…

Here’s the scoop on teaching children respect:

The Basics

Empathy is so important for young kids to begin to understand. I often talk about the golden rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you — in our Polite Kids 101 class.

(PSST — Click here for a free printable poster of the Golden Rule!)

Once kids start thinking about others, beginning to see people with empathetic eyes, you can start bringing it up in everyday conversation. Talk about how it is so much better to treat other people — both children AND adults — with kindness and respect rather than being hateful and mean.

You can ask them, “Who likes to be treated unfairly? Obviously nobody would say, ‘Oh yes! I like that very much!’ So if no one likes to be treated that way, why in the world would we ever choose to treat someone unfairly or be downright mean to them?”

Bullying Hurts

There’s an old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Quite honestly? It’s a nice sentiment but just not entirely true.  Unkindness, mean words, and rumors hurt kids as much as they hurt adults.

That’s one reason teaching children respect is so important — because kind children grow up to be kind adults.

Teaching children respect in 5 minutes or less with this great video and free printable poster from https://smartkids101.com

So teach your child that while we’re not able to control how others treat us, we can always control how we treat others.  Children should know it’s hard to “unsay” something, once you’ve said it.  The damage is done and the hurt feelings, well, hurt.

If your child has been treated unfairly, had conflict, or encountered adversity, they’ll recognize these feelings. (That’s everybody, right?) Comfort your child and use the knowledge of what that feels like to teach them conflict resolution skills and fuel their unparalleled kindness towards others.

A Fun Visual Lesson for Teaching Children Respect

Teaching children respect in 5 minutes or less with this great video and free printable poster from https://smartkids101.com

We all know that one sure-fire way to know that your words won’t harm others is to think before you speak.  To help children understand this better, do this exercise…

  1. Get a square of paper and draw dark lines across it.  Give each child a tube of toothpaste and instruct them to cover as many of the black lines as possible in 1 minute or until the toothpaste runs out.  The child with the most lines covered is the winner! Woohoo!
  2. Now, pretend you’re Jeff Probst and turn the tables on the kids. Phase 2 of the challenge begins now! Give a butter knife to each child and tell them they now have 30 seconds to get the toothpaste back into the tube.
  3. The children may complain as they realize it’s next to impossible… and that’s the point! So is taking back something that’s really mean and hurtful.

Once they are spoken, you just can’t take mean words back. People get hurt, and that doesn’t feel good for anyone. Kindness is the way to go.

Pop Quiz!

After your child learns about kindness and empathy, keep it going by reinforcing these concepts:

  1. Since words can hurt people, what should we do BEFORE we speak?   (The correct answer? Think.)
  2. If we speak before we think and someone gets hurt, what should we do?  (The correct answer? Apologize and ask for forgiveness.)

Teaching children respect really can be as easy as that.

And now it’s our turn to show you a little kindness and respect:

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Teaching children respect in 5 minutes or less with this great video and free printable poster from https://smartkids101.com

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READ NEXT: 9 Books to Teach Your Child Manners 

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About Julie Hunt
I’ve lived a full life with many unimaginable joys and heartache like you wouldn’t believe. Our blog exists to encourage folks to slow down, chill out, and love more.

9 thoughts on “Teaching Children Respect in 5 Minutes or Less”

  1. Triplezmom says:

    I love this so much. The toothpaste experiment is perfect. Thank you for sharing on #Typeaparent.

    1. Julie Hunt says:

      Triplezmom! Thanks so much for reading our blog and commenting. That toothpaste visual really helps a kid (and adult) “get it”. I’ve thought about that so much myself when I feel like giving someone a piece of my mind! Oh, it may be justified and all, but can I ever take it back if I go too far and more importantly, what am I modeling to my kids? Have a great week-end!

  2. I especially liked what the video said about not being able to control how others treat you but being able to control how you treat others. Very important and an easy concept even for little ones to understand. Found this post on VA Bloggers. Glad I stopped by!

    1. Julie Hunt says:

      We’re so glad you stopped by too! Thanks for the kind words! You make us feel liked and special! Yeah, that self control when feeling hurt and angry is HARD, whether it’s on a playground with 2nd graders or big girls at a PTO meeting! HA! Folks push our buttons and I’m really, really trying to choose kindness, love and forgiveness each time. I tweeted/FB’d this just this morning…Forgive others; not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Isn’t that good? 🙂 Happy Friday!

  3. Words hurt a lot. I still remember those terrible things said to me way back when. I’ve taught my children respect and continue to. Love the exercise!

    1. Julie Hunt says:

      Connie- You remind me of me…I’m that 2nd grader on the playground I described in the comment below. ;-( It does hurt but part of our healing comes in choosing grace and love while teaching the next generation a better way. You’re doing the right thing, showing the ones in your circle how to keep the toothpaste in the tube! HA! (unless you really are brushing your teeth!) I’m feeling silly because it’s FRIDAY!!! Have a great week-end friend!

  4. Stephanie Desautels says:

    This is a magical teaching approach!

    1. Aubrey Hunt says:

      Thanks, Stephanie! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

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