Lessons In Respect: How Grandmothers Can Teach Their Grandchildren to Treat Everyone The Right Way

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Sometimes I feel like kids today wouldn’t know respect if it smacked them on the head. I don’t know if times have changed or maybe I am just getting older and don’t see it the same way as it once was. Either way, there are a lot of ways we can instill respect in our grandchildren.

Like Aretha Franklin sang, “R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me.” 🙂

1. Lead by Example

Making Christmas Cookies with Grammy
Flickr/Don LaVange

You know what they say – monkey see, monkey do! As grandparents, one of the most powerful ways we can teach respect is by modeling it. Our grandchildren are always watching us, and they will likely imitate what we do. Therefore, it is essential that we demonstrate respectful behavior towards them and other people. We should show empathy, respect personal boundaries, and use polite language. In terms of the latter…

2. Use Polite Language

…There is much more to be said, hence the new paragraph! Using polite language is a great way to teach respect. We should encourage our grandchildren to use phrases such as “please” and “thank you” when making requests or receiving something. Additionally, we can teach them to use polite language in everyday conversations to show others that we value their feelings and opinions.

3. Teach Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Teaching our grandchildren to be empathetic is an essential aspect of teaching respect. We should listen to their feelings and encourage them to put themselves in others’ shoes. This way, when they understand and care about the feelings of others, they will be more respectful towards them.

4. Respect Personal Space

Respecting personal space and boundaries is vital, and we should teach our grandchildren to do the same. It is important to explain to them the importance of asking permission before touching or taking things that do not belong to them. We can teach them to respect other people’s belongings and personal space by setting an example and emphasizing the importance of respecting other people’s privacy and boundaries.

5. Teach Manners

With Grandma at church
Flickr/The Pentecostals of OC

Teaching manners, such as waiting for their turn to speak, not interrupting others, and being respectful to elders, is another way to instill respect in our grandchildren. As the grandma, we can teach them to listen actively and speak respectfully to others, which, in turn, can help them build strong relationships based on mutual respect.

6. Encourage Kindness

Encouraging our grandchildren to show kindness towards others is an excellent way to teach respect. You can model kindness by helping others, volunteering, and just being thoughtful. Grandmas can also teach them to be kind by encouraging them to share, take turns, and consider the feelings of others.

7. Teach Cultural Awareness

Teaching about different cultures and beliefs can help our grands develop respect towards people who are different from them. Encourage your grandchild(ren) to celebrate diversity and to be open-minded. By doing this, your grandchild will learn to appreciate and understand the unique qualities that make each person special.

8. Use Positive Reinforcement

If you see your grandchild show respect towards others, acknowledge and praise them. Positive reinforcement can encourage them to continue showing respectful behavior towards others, so it is crucial to make them feel proud of themselves for their efforts.

9. Set Clear Boundaries and Consequences

Grandma doesn't want her picture taken
Flickr/Nathan LeClair

It is important to set clear boundaries with our grandchildren and to explain the consequences of disrespectful behavior. We should enforce the consequences when necessary to teach them the importance of being respectful. It can also help them understand the impact their behavior has on others.

10. Teach Conflict Resolution Skills

Teaching conflict resolution skills is another way to show respect toward others. Teach your grandchild to communicate effectively, listen actively, and find mutually beneficial solutions to conflicts so they can learn to resolve conflicts in a respectful and peaceful manner.

11. Teach Responsibility

Teaching responsibility is another way to instill respect in children. As grandmas, we can teach them to be responsible for their actions and to take ownership of their mistakes. This way, they can learn to respect the consequences of their behavior and take steps to make things right.

I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about teaching respect to your grandkids. But let’s be real – we’re grandmas, and we’re not always going to get it right.

Sometimes we’ll forget our own manners, or maybe we’ll need to take a timeout to regroup, which is still okay because the beauty of being a grandma is that we get a second chance. So let’s keep on spreading kindness, showing empathy, and teaching respect one grandkid at a time.

After all, we’ve got this grandma thing down to a science!

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