Build respect

Parents can support their children to build respect for others and themselves which shorts out the whole bullying process.

Respect is an attitude of honoring people and caring about them. I always tell my respectful by treating other people the way you would want to be treated. It helps people feel valued.

In fact I am sure if you were to ask my eleven year old about what respect means her head would lull, her eyes would role and she would sigh and say "treat others the way you want to be treated" Gosh Mom...

It also includes self-respect. Something both the target and the bully may be missing. Caring about yourself, your body and your "stuff" and knowing you are valuable and worthy. When you treat yourself with respect others will respect you.

We can help build respect in our children to  mitigate the effects of bullying on the bully or the target.

"It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself" Abaraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Action steps to build Respect

1) Treat other people the way they want to be treated. 

  • Don't interrupt others while talking or if  something is important and you must "Say Excuse me"
  • Say please and thank you
  • Be courteous, ie: when moving through a crowd say "excuse me" 
  • Pay attention to older and wiser adults who may have wisdom to share
  • If they use something belonging to someone else, they ask permission first, treat it with care and return it better in some way if they can.

2) Treat their selves and their body with care.

  • Speak out if someone is doing something to hurt them.
  • Take care of their "stuff" putting it away and maintaining it properly.

3) Follow the rules:  **(except when the rules are counter intuitive to the first two action steps)**

  • Follow the house rules
  • Listen to their parents, teachers and elders
  • Follow school policies
  • Listen to older people who may have more experience and knowledge than them.

**There are exceptions to most rules.**If the rules...for example: to be a part of a group one of the rules could be to make fun of or be hurtful to someone...or themselves...that rule is not respectful and should be challenged in an assertive voice  "I believe that is not a respectful thing to do...lets come up with a different rule"

**Or if an adult, parent, teacher, aunt, uncle, older cousin whoever touches or says something hurtful to a child, the child must know that they are deserving of respect and can either voice their concern that the adult is not respecting them or if not safe in the moment then be able to approach a safe adult later. A child needs to know they are respected and will be listened to and their concerns addressed. 

Sometimes Big solutions are easy

A child who can build respect knows how to be respectful to others and understands he/she is worthy of respect making them less likely to be involved with bullying. Nothing works 100% but respectfulness of self and others helps to minimize the effects of the bullying

This day and age with all the techno gizmos and crazy busy-ness we often forget the small courtesies in life that help make things easier for everyone. Help your child build respect for their own benefit and for the rest of us...

Sometimes you don't need a big complicated answer, a system over haul, or a huge new program with all the answers. Sometimes it is just about learning the simple things and building character traits like respectfulness that benefit everyone.

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