Michelle Mallonee Long
“For us to truly accept anyone of any age, it is necessary to be able to feel what it is like to be that person, only then can we accept that other person as we accept ourselves.”
– Rita M. Warren
How do you feel when:
• Someone asks your occupation and then says, “It must be nice to play all day?”
• A co-worker or administrator cuts down your lesson plans?
• A child backtalks?
• You are treated like a babysitter rather than an educator?
I am guessing that your feelings may become hurt. You may feel the need to explain or defend your career path. Or the comments may make you question your knowledge or skill set, asking yourself “Where did I go wrong?”.
Think about how your actions or words make a child feel during:
• Toileting accidents
• Competing over toys
Do the words you choose to resolve the situation comfort, support, and teach the child, or are your words condescending, negative and hurtful?
Some have said that respect is something that is earned. If you want respect you need to live up to it. Others have said that respect is a way of treating others as you would like to be treated. Being kind and polite, even in the face of adversity is a way of showing respect.
Young children do not automatically understand the concept of respect. They need adults in their lives who can demonstrate a regard for the feelings, interests and abilities of others. They need caregivers who will believe that they deserve respect and will intentionally model a respectful attitude for them. Attitudes and expressions of respect start with adults and trickle down to the children.
For additional information on respecting children check out the following:
• “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish; update 2012, published by Scribner. ISBN-13: 978-1451663884
• Parenting for Brain: What is Respect – 6 Highly Effective Ways to Teach Kids Respect
• Robert Myers, PhD / November 28, 2011 / Expert Parenting Articles: Teach Children to Respect by Treating them with Respect
• Montessori-blog: Parenting, by Lauren April 12, 2018: 7 Ways to Show Respect to Children