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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Creating Strength of Character in Children

Respect for Others

On way to develop strength of character is to teach them respect for others. This is based on self-respect and is summed up in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This value is what makes the world a better, kinder place.

You can show respect in many ways; by speaking and acting in a civil manner, avoiding insults and cruel remarks, being courteous and considerate of others (this includes family members), caring about other peoples rights, beliefs and well-being, treating other people fairly and as individuals (regardless of sex, age, race, religion etc), showing tolerance for people who don't share their same beliefs and likes (so long as those people aren't doing any harm to other)

The best way for a child to learn how to respect other people is to be shown respect themselves. It is so important to lead by example.

Encourage and teach your children how to solve conflicts non violently by following these steps
1) Find out what the conflict is about
2) Suggest different ways they might resolve the conflict.
3) Get your child to agree to one of the choices.
4) Have them make a plan to check whether the solution is working.


Self-respect means being satisfied with your behavior and accomplishments. People with self-respect also respect others. They don't need to put others down with nasty comments or build themselves up by bragging or over exaggerating their abilities or talents. Nor do they need lots of money or power to feel good about themselves.

People who respect themselves see selfishness, loss of self-discipline, recklessness, cowardice and dishonesty as wrong and not worthy of them. They have inner strength and are unwilling to let others use or manipulate them. They also know that showing patience or tolerance does not mean allowing others to mistreat them.

People with self-respect don't dissolve in a heap when they fail. They accept mistakes as a normal part of life. We often help our children to set high standards for themselves but we also need to let them know that that their is no need to be embarrassed if they failed when they have done their best.

Teaching children self-respect doesn't mean complimenting everything they do. They need to have honest/accurate feedback from time to time. When criticising - always sandwich it with positive comments and love and focus on what they have done - not them.

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