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Raising Respectful Children

Respect and tolerance are key features of a safe, calm society, but these skills are not on the curriculum, so how are they taught? 
Children learn most from the people to whom they are most closely attached so don’t undervalue how much you can teach your child, especially the softer skills that are so important for later life, just by modelling the skills you want to teach and talking to your child. Here are some top tips from our experts to help you raise respectful children.
  • Be firm – If your child is displaying disrespectful behaviour, then make them aware of how you feel about this and how it does not meet your family expectations/rules.


  • Be a positive role model – Demonstrate to your child how to respect people, property and themselves. They will learn from you and if you are showing respect then they are likely to do the same. On the other hand, you show the behaviour of disrespecting, and then they are negatively going to copy this behaviour.


  • Discuss and teach respect – Talk about respect and what it means to respect things. This will make your child aware of how actions are perceived and they will begin to understand ways you can show respect and how to prevent being disrespectful. You may witness an incident in the park when a child is disrespecting property  You could point this incident out to your child and let them discuss why that behaviour was inappropriate and how they could have been respectful.


  • Have expectations, then praise, reinforce and reward – Make your child aware of your expectations about respect and explain the consequences if they are disrespectful. If your child is respectful then praise and reward them and this positive praise will make children want to repeat respectful behaviour.


  • Be patient and be aware that your child will make mistakes – teaching a child respect is a gradual process.  Parents need to be patient and understand that children may show signs of being disrespectful. Children will be experimenting with behaviour and having consistent boundaries will help children feel safe and make it easier for them to learn to be respectful.

2. Take a Pair of Binoculars with you

Get outdoors and see what you can find – great for young explorers!

3. Take Sweets and Activities for the Plane

Taking the sweets on-board the plane will allow the children to suck the sweets and reduce the pressure in their ears.

Also, any compact toys without little pieces will allow your child to be occupied and have something to play with on the plane – cards games like Top Trumps are great!

4. Make the Trip Educational, but Fun

This is a great opportunity to delve into the educational element of your trip by encouraging your child to learn some of the native language of the country you will be travelling to or even learning about what to expect and fully experiencing the culture on arrival.

5. Embrace the Food

You never know, you may like it! Lead by example – if you try a local delicacy, then your children are more likely to copy you. Bon Appetit!

6. Take an Activity bag

Essentials include pens, pencils, rubbers, stickers and activity sheets. Your children can help decide what goes in this as part of the packing (see number 1 above).

7. Write a Journal, Diary / Scrapbook

This can be done by collecting different items and encouraging your child to write about their feelings, what food they liked/disliked, what sounds/sights they liked/disliked, etc. It will be a great memento to look back on one day.

8. Explore your Surroundings

Naturally, travelling abroad or even in your home country will allow you to take in the local sights and embrace the culture.


9. Explain Family Rules and Expectations

The normal routine goes out of the window when you’re on holiday, so children need to know what is expected of them, be sure to explain these to your children before you go and then repeat these when you arrive.

They still need to be well-behaved and rules will keep them safe in an unknown environment.

10. Have a countdown until you leave

Put it where everyone can see it so that children can get excited about the holiday but won’t keep pestering you and asking how long until we go!

Whether you’re staying in the UK or traveling abroad, exploring new destinations and enjoying new experiences is great for broadening children’s minds.
They may try new things that they wouldn’t at home, discover new cultures, and even find new interests. So make the most of your family holiday this year, and don’t forget to send us a postcard!

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