How to get your child to respect others. 6 parenting tips.

A little Respect goes a long way. Nobody wants to deal with a disrespectful person, be it child or adult, so let's fix that pronto. When a child acts difficult, it's not productive to give into their bad behavior. First you must determine the reason for their behavior, then determine how to react. Oh, and you need to do this on-the-spot without hesitation. This may seem far-fetched, kids are kids after all, but that's precisely why there may be multiple causes for their disrespectful behavior. To change the bad behavior, a parent has to understand what's triggering it as well as ensure the consequences for disrespectful behavior are in line with the parents goals.

1. Lay out your plan captain.

Save yourself a lot of arguments and headaches by minimizing a child's anxiety. Unknowns make people anxious, respect that and plan for it. Rather than barking orders and expecting everyone in your household to run on your schedule, remember to communicate your plan in advance. Warm up the members of your household with a high-level view of the plan, observe the concerns of those involved, address the concerns, and repeat the plan with more reassuring detail. If need be, break things into smaller chores or wishes and track them with a mobile reward app.

Bottom line, if your child gets disrespectful when you announce it's time to go to soccer practice, don't threaten to cancel practice and send them to their room. This is a lose-lose arrangement. Turn the discussion around by letting your child know their behavior is not okay, but, what's more important is explaining what about soccer practice is upsetting him/her.

2. Start with small regular social interactions.

Play dates are great for teaching your children how to respect others. Tell your kids beforehand what to expect and how to react in order to treat others with respect. When instructing them to play well with others, use examples of how to be friendly and play well with others. Remind them to not be too rough, if at all, on the playground.

3. Realistic expectations go a long way.

Kids look to their parents to be the teachers, to guide them along the way. So what do you do? Teach them what they need to know. Gradually add lessons in respect to your daily practices. Start with saying please and thank you. Then incorporate appropriate gestures like how to hold the door open for others, and to use phrases like 'yes ma'am, or 'yes sir', to convey respect when listening to adults. And let's not forget things we are not to do like keep your hands to yourselves.

4. Consequences.

Punish with a swift time out, or light reprimand depending on the situation. If he or she continues being disrespectful, limit playtime, or other privileges. Or rather than repeatedly limiting priveledges, shift gears and start acknowledging and rewarding your child for their good days. It won't take long for a kid to catch on to the idea that working with you is far better than working against you.

5. Lay down that structure.

What's the best thing for a developing child's mind? Stability. A consistent structure is paramount for any developing child, plus it teaches children what is expected of them. House rules teach respect and politeness in the privacy of your home as well as those of others. Establish clear rules early on. Everything from bedtime, snack time is after school, and 'finish your homework before going to play' helps reinforce a predictable structure and minimizing anxiety. 

6. Games always spice up things.

Create new rules like 'Whoever can hold the door open for others gets a small prize!' Or friendly challenges focused on perpetuating kindness like 'Whoever gives the best compliments is the king of words today.' Just don't turn it into too much of a competition if you have multiple children in the house, or this plan could backfire!

For the most part, a little respect goes farther than most people think. It could mean differences to a lot of things in our world today and tomorrow. Teaching our children to respect others is paramount to improving human relations. That means happier people overall, with less stress, less conflict and fuller lives. Learning to respect others is future changing, so it's not something you should skip out on teaching your kids whenever possible.