This month we will focus on the character concept, “respect.”
Respect is at the foundation of every healthy relationship, interaction, and communication. It’s reflected in the way we speak and act. It’s in the way we treat our family, friends, environment and community. It’s also in the way we regard the rights, ideas, and property of others. Respect, after all, is all about following the Golden Rule– treating others the way you want to be treated.
It’s also vital that we have respect for ourselves and teach our children to do the same. These days there are so many messages in the media and in the world that tell us to be unhappy with who we are—to buy products that will make us appear “younger,” “thinner” and “better” and to do unhealthy
things to our bodies to fit an “acceptable” mold. When we have respect for ourselves, we celebrate our own strengths and values. When we can do that, it’s easier for others to respect the value in us.
A recent study published in the Current Directions in Psychological Science (June, 2010) tells us that relationships get better with age, partly due to respect. Researchers found that as people age, they are more likely to show forgiveness and respect as well as care, concern, and cherishing of the moments they have. How can we harness that attitude of respect in our children while they are still young? We will be bringing respect to the forefront as we discuss it in class this month.
As always, one of the best ways to teach and reinforce Powerful Words is by modeling strength of character ourselves. Share with your children how you show respect to others in your everyday lives. How do you show care, consideration, concern and courtesy for those in your family, at school, at
work, among your friends and out in the community? This type of question can serve as a great jumping off point at your dinner tables.
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