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How do you stimulate respectful behaviour?

2021-09-24 00:00:00

Written by Marloes Dingemans

Teaching your child respect for others and for his or her environment; how do you do this? And how to start this at a young age? We give you the most important thing right away: as a parent you are one of the most important examples for a child!

Having respect for each other is an important quality to teach your children at a young age. It lays the foundation and stimulates positive behaviour such as empathy, friendliness, sincerity and honesty. Not for nothing 'respect' is one of the 7 values of CompaNanny.

Respect as a value within CompaNanny
At CompaNanny we think it's important children learn to respect themselves, others and the world. Our Nannies create, within different age ranges, the right conditions for children to develop this value.

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers (0-4 years) make big steps in their development during their first years of life. This can lead to a lot of frustrations and emotions. We offer the children space to develop at their own pace and show respect for the training process. The children are also given the space to express their emotions, even if a child feels the need to cry or be angry, for example. By naming these emotions, we teach children that they - and their emotions - are allowed to be there.

In our communication with children, we use the 'I' form. This involves describing the child's behaviour. I do not think it is right for you to climb on the table, because you could fall off and hurt yourself'. Not in a you-message: "You cannot climb on the table, that is very naughty". In the you-message, condemnation and accusation are expressed. Through positive and respectful communication with children, we also teach them to treat others with respect.

In the age group 4-12 years old, we teach children, among other things, to be respectful of belongings and to watch their language when communicating with others. We discuss disapproved behaviour with the children, but never reject them as persons. In this way, we support children during conflicts and in setting their own boundaries.

Support your children
As a parent, you would like your child to treat others in/and his/her environment with respect. As children grow older, they become increasingly aware of their relationship with their environment and others in it. As an adult, you have a very special role in this!

What can you do to give your child 'respect for others'?

in primary school age, children are more and more able to empathise with and show consideration for others. Independent conflict resolution and cooperation are also improving. This is partly because children at this age can think more abstractly and can regulate their own emotions better. Children continue to need support in this and you, as a parent, can play an important role in this. You can support your child in: 



Developing empathy
By naming the emotions of your child (and the other), a child learns to better empathise with the other and adapt its behaviour accordingly. By talking to children about emotions and empathy, you can support a child in developing his or her empathy and respect for the other.

By teaching children that you talk with respect about the people around you, you teach children to see and appreciate the qualities and positive sides of someone else.

You can teach children to wait their turn, to listen to each other, to ask questions of each other, to help others, et cetera. With young children this is still very difficult, this has to do with the development of the awareness of self and the awareness of the other.

Dealing with conflicts
When there are conflicts between children, you can name what you see happening. You name what is happening and do not make value judgements or express solutions. This encourages children to put themselves in the other's shoes and to find a solution together. Saying sorry is still very difficult for many children. For this they need the awareness of another person, but also of cause and effect.  Saying 'sorry' is often something children do because an adult asks them to, not necessarily because they understand it or experience it as such. Explain to your child what consequences their actions can have on the other person and guide them through the emotions involved.

Self-esteem and your own moral sense
The moral sense (what is right and wrong) of children develops during primary school. Children start to see the difference between intention and result, between deceit and error and between fantasy and reality. You can support this - and with it self-respect - by stating that making your own choices is good, even if someone else may have a different opinion. Children are thus encouraged to continue thinking about their own choices and learn to understand the choices of others.