What does it mean to have respect for someone or something? Is it important to have respect? Is it a quality that we should all possess? What happens if you do not have respect? Should children be taught about respect, or is it something which naturally forms? These are all valid questions to ask… let’s have a look at respect in a little more detail.

Respect comes from the Latin word ‘respectus’, meaning attention, regard or consideration.

It is important to respect others, consider their feelings and their wellbeing and how they may be affected by your words and/or actions.

Respect includes how you feel about someone and how you choose to treat them. Respecting someone means that you think of them in a positive way and might even look up to them in some sense.
You should not only have respect for others around you, but also for yourself.
Being respectful towards others, being respected by others and also respecting yourself can increase our self-esteem as well as having beneficial effects on our mental health and well-being. There are different ways of showing respect: through basic manners, following the rules set by parents and teachers as well as dressing and acting accordingly.

Without showing respect to others, there is a higher chance of relationships and friendships deteriorating, meaning they may be filled with conflict and dissatisfaction. Having a lack of respect can also make it hard to form new relationships and can impact on your chances of getting a job or doing well within the workplace.

Is Respect Earned or Deserved?

You may have heard the saying ‘respect your elders’… but does that mean that all elderly people, despite how they treat you or act, deserve to be respected?

For example: Being given a managerial role for a business or company, does not immediately entitle you to the respect of all of your colleagues. You need to treat your colleagues fairly and with consistency as well as offering them some degree of freedom before they grow to respect you. If you treat them unfairly or look down on them due to your status in the workplace, they will not respect you and they will not work to their full potential for you.

This is the case for everyone. If you treat your friends, family and loved ones with kindness and are always fair and caring for their needs, they will respect you and should show you the same level of kindness in return.

Should Children Be Taught Respect?

Respect stems from having manners and knowing right from wrong… these are things that should be taught to children. Children should be encouraged to use their manners; saying please, thank you, your welcome and sorry when needed. They should be taught to follow rules that are set by their parents and teachers and understand why they need to follow them… for their own safety, to show that they care about their parents and teachers decisions and their feelings regarding the situation that the rules are about.

Children who are well disciplined often grow up to be respectful, polite individuals. To discipline your child does not mean that you have to scream and shout at them when they do wrong and it certainly does not mean that you should smack them when they are considered ‘naughty’.
If a child misbehaves, you should sit them down, tell them how their behaviours have made you feel and why they should not act in such a way again. This may not always be effective, but it is a very good tactic to try and it is much more likely to teach them respect as well as helping them approach conflict in a more productive manner.

Respect is a very good characteristic to have, and I think this is a trait that a lot of people subconsciously look for when building new friendships and relationships.

What do you think being respectful means? How do you feel when someone is disrespectful to you? What kind of behaviours would you classify as being disrespectful? Let me know in the comments below!


Explaining Respect to Children

Learning About and Teaching Respect

How to be Disrespectfully Respectful

Huffington Post – 6 Ways I Teach My Kid Respect

Why Teaching Respect to Children is Important

The Language of Respect

Do You Earn or Deserve Respect?

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