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This month we will focus on the powerful word, “respect.”

Simply put; when we respect someone or something, we show that they are valuable and worthy of care, attention or consideration.

We often talk to children about respect in terms of how we would want others to treat us and then help them to apply that concept to how we should be treating others. But respect is more nuanced than that. We don’t just treat others the way we want to be treated but rather, how they deserve and need to be treated as well.

Therefore, when speaking to our children, it’s important to note that respecting others does not necessarily mean that we treat them “the same.” For instance, a child who has special needs might want help doing a new skill while a child without such special needs may prefer to practice the skill independently. In this case we actually treat each child differently while showing respect for both.

We can show respect to ourselves as well. When we see ourselves as valuable and are made to feel special for who we are, we develop self-respect. Respecting ourselves provides the foundation for respecting others.

Children learn a great deal about respect by interacting with their peers. According to a recent study, when children interacts with peers, they learn about perspective-taking, empathy and differences. The children can then develop critical-thinking while practicing how to show respect despite disagreements.

As mentors, parents and teachers in the lives of children, it is important for us to model respect for ourselves and others while discussing values of kindness, empathy and gratitude. Children absorb our values and will imitate what we do as well as what we say. We can show respect for ourselves by, for example, protecting our time or taking care of our bodies and we can show respect for others by listening to them and giving them our undivided attention.

We thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

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