Parents are their child’s first teacher. If we are to expect our children to respect others, we need to show respect to each other as well. Children are like sponges, they observe and mimic especially parents who they look up to and want to emulate. Here are a few helpful hints to think about.
1) Start early – It is easier to start off with the desired behavior. Research says that it takes 21 times to change an undesired behavior. 7 times a conscience choice, 7 times to reinforce, and 7 times semi-conscience choice to change the undesired behavior. That seems like a lot of work, it is easier to do it right the first time.
2) Start off small- Make it easy. Use please and thank you’s. A good foundation will help parents to build upon as your child gets older.
3) Ignore the poor choice and reinforce the good choice. Children love to get compliments; they beam with happiness when they feel like their parent took notice of their behavior.
4) Practice, practice, practice… Make it a habit over time; model the desired behavior with your child. It is not enough to teach children what NOT to do but what TO do.
5) Give eye contact – be present in the moment. It doesn’t have the same effect if you are not looking at the person. Take that extra second to make sure that the person knows that you are truly paying attention.