You don’t have to like everyone and you don’t have to agree with their opinions or behavior. Everyone has worth as a human being and deserves our respect. Give respect freely, regardless of the respect that you receive.
Respectful communication can be difficult when we disagree with someone. We must be willing to accept that our opinion is not fact; believing in something strongly doesn’t make it more true. Communicating with respect requires us to express ourselves in a thoughtful and purposeful way.
Basic concepts of respect:
- Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule
- Be tolerant of differences
- Use good manners, not bad language
- Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone
- Be considerate of the feelings of others
- Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements
Teaching respect with T.E.A.M.
- Teach: Show your child how to use the tool below. Teach your children the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Enforce: Embrace diversity and cooperation with individuals who are ethnically and culturally different.
- Advocate: Talk to your child about the differences between “treating everyone with respect” and admiring them.
- Model: Be a good role model by having respectful discussions.
Ask your child what they think: are there things that if everyone did it, would it be a bad thing? What if everyone used bad manners? What if no one treated others with respect?
Excellence with Integrity Tool: Two Steps to Better Communication
Step 1: Try to Understand
Use active listening by restating, in your own words, what you just heard. This helps to make sure that you understand what you are hearing.
Person 1: “I’m disappointed that you didn’t come to my birthday party.” Person 2: “I understand that you are upset that I didn’t come to your party.”
Step 2: Try to be Understood
Express your thoughts, feelings and expectations without blame, insult or personal attack.
Example: “I’m disappointed that you didn’t share your new toy.”
Want to learn more? Check out our Parent’s Guide to Teaching Good Character