The video above, from our friends at Sesame Street, does a great job explaining the concept of respect. In the video, you see children, adults, pigs, chickens and more. Everyone’s a little bit different – just like in real life. That’s okay, though, so long as you take time to treat everyone in a way that makes them feel cared for and important. Respect is an important value for children to learn and it’s Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care’s featured value for February.
“Teaching respect is part of our Character Education curriculum,” said Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy’s Vice President of Education. “We teach children that respect is the ability to recognize and appreciate the rights, beliefs, practices, and differences of other people.
“Often, people use the words ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ when they talk about respect. These are important, but respect means more than just tolerating or accepting a person. Respecting someone means that you value that person for their contributions to society, your community, or the group.”
In our Academies, teachers are strong role models for the children when it comes to showing respect. Every day, our teachers find ways to make each child feel valued for what they bring to their classroom community. We encourage children to share family traditions, special skills, and talents with their peers so that we can celebrate differences and similarities.
Here are some ideas for discussion starters you can use at home to help your child learn about respect:
Discuss with them the definition of respect – Ask your child what respect means to them. Share with them what it means to you.
Ask about a time they practiced respect – What did they do? How did it make them feel? Conversely, ask about a time when someone may have shown a lack of respect toward your child. How did that make them feel?
Discuss some things you could do as a family to show respect – How can you practice respect within your own family? Are there ways you can show respect to others in your community?
As always, one of the ways children learn best is by watching you. Be a good role model by showing respect for your children, your spouse and others.
There are many awesome books you can read with your children to help them understand the concept of respect. Some that Kiddie Academy’s Education Department recommends are:
“Owl Moon,” by Jane Yolen
“The Berenstain Bears Show Some Respect,” by Jan and Mike Berenstain
“Respect and Take Care of Things,” by Cheri J. Meiners
“Everyone Matters: A First Look at Respect for Others,” by Pat Thomas
Scholastic Publishing also offers several books about respect, including:
“Lily’s Plastic Purse,” by Kevin Henkes
“David Goes to School,” by David Shannon
“The Grouchy Ladybug,” by Eric Carle
“The Jacket,” by Andrew Clements
Here are some additional ideas about teaching respect from our partners at PBS Parents:
“Exploring New Cultures with Your Child in Let’s Go Luna!” – PBS Parents
“Inclusive Communities” – PBS Parents
“Activity: Discover Ethnicity!” – PBS Parents