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How to teach a child to respect elders?


From the author:Not so long ago, I took part in a small discussion about how the upbringing of children has changed in our time. The main theme was respect for elders and a “bias” towards the rights of the child, in contrast to the Soviet era, when children had “one duty”.

Mindful of the fact that all the "evil" in this world is done with the tacit consent of the indifferent, I considered it necessary not to pass by and tell about what I believe in.

And this is somewhat different from the usual Soviet concept of “elders must be respected”.

In my professional views, I rely on positive psychotherapy and the theory of attachment, which has become popular recently due to the activities of such famous Russian psychologists as Lyudmila Petranovskaya and Olga Pisarik. The theoretical base of the direction was developed in the middle of the last century by two British scientists - J. Bowlby and M. Ainsworth. The main idea of ​​the theory of attachment is that for the normal development and growing up of a child, he needs vital caring adults nearby. Caring is not easy in terms of survival: feed, wash and sleep. And in the broadest sense of the word - caring in words, and in deeds, and in feelings. Only such relationships contribute to the child gaining a stable self-esteem, self-confidence and motivation for success.

In terms of affection, respect is a normal and natural feeling for a child in relation to his adults. And the question for me is always not whether the child respects the elders, but how this respect is shown to them.

It is very important to see the difference between two such often confused concepts as respect and obedience.

Respect involves accepting the other and his right to be different from us, to have our own interests and desires. This is some "credit" that we give to a person with faith in his best qualities. And obedience is the ability to follow the rules and requirements of an authority. Moreover, no matter how this “person” is respected.

And if a child sometimes helps you around the house, tries to speak more quietly when you relax and do not stomp in dirty shoes on the floor, but sometimes tells you “no” to any requests or is angry with you. Does this mean that he does not respect you? Or is it just a test of one’s personal boundaries and a manifestation of the natural instinct of opposition?

In my opinion, even a person without a fixed place of residence can be respected. However, this does not mean that the child must fulfill all the requests of this person, follow him wherever he asks and agree to do what he will offer. Although this is precisely a manifestation of disobedience.

It is difficult for children to distinguish between the intricacies of human interactions. They said "respect your elders" in the meaning of "be obedient" - which means you have to go after your uncle and be obedient.

Of course, I’m exaggerating a little with my example. I just want to show that in an effort to instill in children an abstract respect for elders, we do not always take into account their natural protective mechanisms of the psyche. Such protection can cause a lot of inconvenience to adults in the form of disobedience and opposition to their will, but you just can not do without it. Especially in situations where you don’t have to be obedient, but rather “show your teeth” or run away.

Respect cannot be inculcated through persecution or intimidation. This is a natural consequence of emotional attachment, where an adult takes care of the needs of the child and his development, while remaining for him reliable protection and support. And this means a child’s encounter with the inevitable restrictions and boundaries, and help in living his frustration in front of these restrictions, and a willingness to endure his opposition, because you are big, adult and probably already much more emotionally mature ...

Therefore, much of what children say at times of disobedience testifies rather to their emotional state (and normal mental immaturity) than to serious intentions and disrespect, no matter how menacing all their words may sound.

And if the relationship with an adult is reliable and safe for the child, he has the opportunity to show all his emotions towards him openly. So, such statements as “I’ll go to another family”,“Mom, you are a fool”, “I do not love you” or “I will complain about you to the police” can be used as a reason to talk about what is happening between you, why the child is so angry or offended. In turn, this makes it possible to talk about why the child had to face some restrictions or prohibitions - that is, talk about existing boundaries and rules.

Isn't this the essence of upbringing? - protect the child from dangers (as far as we can), helping him to live through complex feelings.

We always teach by example. And if we ourselves are respectful to ourselves and others (we respect our and other people's borders, we talk about what is important to us), if respect the child himself and leave space for his free thoughts and feelings. then it will not be difficult for a child to be like us and also to respect him. to yourself, to us and other people. Including seniors.

This is what helps to understand and see the theory of attachment, the ideas of which are deeply natural and familiar to each of us, in particular, thanks to Russian folk tales.

One of the most striking female stories in this regard is remembered “Vasilisa the Wise”, where the internal support given to the girl by the mother becomes her defense in difficult times, when she has to withstand the attacks of the evil stepmother and her daughter.
Another famous tale of an internal resource is "Little Havroshechka. "

An analogue for boys is a fairy tale. P. Ershova"The Little Humpbacked Horse", where the main character - Ivanushka - intuitively feels whom and how to respect, where to show obedience, and where - cunning and ingenuity. All this becomes possible thanks to the appeal of Ivanushka to her wise and faithful assistant (internal resource) - the ridge - the Hunchback.

And as a conclusion.

All the most wonderful feelings that we hope to see in children in relation to ourselves, to adults, are a natural continuation of their attachment to us as a reliable adult figure. This feeling does not obey the logic or arguments of the rationale that "elders must be respected."

This is the most irrational and strongest connection, which is at the same time a saving thread in the life of every person and a source of many of his worries, suffering and pain, when this connection is threatened.
And it depends only on us what this connection will be for the child.

Parent behavior should be an example

Before throwing all your strength into the correct upbringing of the baby, ask yourself - how do you feel about people who are older than you? Parents - authority for the child, the truth in the first instance. And if mom and dad do not follow these standards of behavior, you can’t even hope that the child will respect adults!

Kids need to be constantly “reminded” of the fact that elders should be treated with respect and help them. But confidential conversations alone will not be enough. Prove your words with illustrative examples! Are you traveling by public transport? Give way to the elderly. Did you see the old woman with the bags? Help her get home with her child.

Using an example, prove to the child how you feel about your parents - his grandparents. Let the baby see your warm feelings towards the older generation from an early age. Children literally like sponges absorb everything they saw and heard. When adult family members respect the elders, they will behave the same way.

In children, respect for adults is often manifested in the desire to help mom or dad. If the baby suggested you wash the dishes today after a family dinner, do not send it to the room - do not chop the good intentions of the crumbs in the bud, let it help. Even a preschooler can do some housework.

It is important to teach children the rules of etiquette

It would seem so easy to greet and say goodbye to a person. But even such simple communication skills need to be taught to children. But respect for elders is made up of elementary rules of etiquette.

It can be difficult for a small child to behave decently in a society of elders - there are no social skills. It will be even more difficult for him to be in society if he does not know the elementary rules of etiquette. It happens that the baby already knows how to read, but he did not learn to say hello when entering the room where there are adults. And this, of course, is a parental oversight. “Hello”, “goodbye”, “please”, “thank you” - these are the phrases that should appear in the child’s vocabulary as soon as possible. Children will certainly begin to follow the established rules of courtesy, if it is available to them to explain how and why to do it.

Preschool children should know:

  • Adults need to be contacted by “you.”
  • You cannot unceremoniously interrupt elders when they are talking.
  • You always need to say "magic" words - say hello, say goodbye, thank.
  • At the table, you can’t talk noisily with adults
  • Away guests do not break into all rooms in a row without adult permission.

The simplest rules of etiquette to teach a child is easy. But mom and dad will have to "remind" the baby about the right behavior from time to time.

Teach your baby to share

Talk with your child about sharing with family is good. And do not forget to back it up with personal examples! Let the baby get used to the fact that adults in the family also have their own needs and desires - so he learns to respect grandparents, dad and mom.

Baking cookies at home? Let the baby divide sweets into all households. It should not be that the child eats as much as he wants, and to the rest of the family “what will remain”. The simplest action, but it will teach to respect and value loved ones.

Teach your child to empathize and take care

The ability to empathize and sympathize with loved ones is an important quality that will help the child grow up to be a decent person. It is important that the baby understands as early as possible that close people need help. And when he understands this, he will certainly begin to give way to the elders on the bus.

For example, if someone from the family is sick, explain to the child that you need to regret and help. Even a student will not be difficult to bring a warm sweater to her grandmother or just ask how she feels today. The main thing is that there is a desire to do it! Of course, not all young children will understand what care is, but any positive qualities can be instilled. Mom does not need to deny the child the desire to take care of her. And even if the whole kitchen is filled with sugar after the tea is made, let the little housewife “treat” you with tea after a long working day. Sweep away from the child once, in the second he may not want to show affection for you.

Respect baby

It’s not a problem for parents to remember an extremely simple rule - treat your child the way you would like him to relate to you. How will the baby respect you (and indeed all adults) if you constantly shout at him, publicly report to him, set severe bans on literally everything? Believe me, a little later the child will begin to respond in exactly the same disrespectful way - such a protest.

Let the little one realize that you value and respect him - he will answer you the same. Do not interrupt the child when he tells you something, listen to his opinion.

Teach your child to show gratitude

It is clear that loving parents will do everything for their child, not expecting anything in return. But when it goes beyond the limits of reason, a small “consumer” grows up who does not even know the word “thank you”. Toys, fashionable clothes, modern gadgets - all gifts are taken for granted. Maybe it's time to explain to the child that mom and dad are not robots?

You won’t even wait for “thanks” for countless gifts, until the child knows that he is the head of the family, that only mom and dad revolve around him. The hierarchy must be clearly observed in the family - first adults, then a child. And just on the background of such a parental priority, gratitude will be born when you satisfy the desires of the child.

How to instill respect for elders in your child: opinion of a specialist

Margarita, hthey invest in the concept of “respect”, and by what methods can it be instilled in the child?

Margarita Iotka, educational psychologist

- Respect in the first place is a recognition of the merits of another person, his authority. And also this understanding that the person does not belong to you and the awareness of its borders. This can only be achieved with your own example. Very often families turn to us in which there is no respect as such. Let's say mom and grandmother constantly quarrel, insult each other with a child. And then the parents come to the reception and wonder why the child allows himself to insult them.

And another example: a child is brought up in a family where the mother constantly says "it is impossible, because I said so" and does not bother to explain why. It is not right. Children need not only to instill rules, norms, etiquette, but also to explain why they need to behave in one way or another. “Because I said so” is not an argument, especially for a child who will later become a teenager who develops his own worldview. And the opinion of parents for him most often during this period is not authoritative, he listens to the opinions of peers. As a result, a teenager can talk with his parents in the same way as they do with him: “What can you know?” Therefore, in his childhood he should have an understanding of what respect for elders means and why it is so important.

- How then to explain to the child why elders need to be respected?

- You always need to explain the reasons. For example, why one cannot ignore a grandfather who cannot cross the road, why one cannot offend and insult older people. It is necessary to tell the child what old age is, that at this age people need help. It can also be explained that a person has lived a long life and has a lot of life experience, but this is only for the child and he can learn something from an elderly person. If you explain things to a child like an adult, then by adolescence he will have his own picture of the world and an assessment of what is happening.

Does the fact that parents punish a child for misconduct affect respect for them?

- Punishing a child is normal, but he must clearly understand why he is scolded. Plus, the system of rewards and punishments should be united in the family. It is necessary to agree with all relatives how you will punish a child or praise. It is better for the child to be responsible for his own actions. Again, if in the process of upbringing one does not explain the child elementary things and phenomena, then later on he will atrophy the formation of his own opinion and decision-making, he will not be able to bear responsibility for his actions. And he will say: "I did so because I so wanted."

During adolescence, children in some cases begin to reject the authority of their parents and rebel. How to behave to parents during this period?

- In no case do not suppress anything. This is the age when separation from parents occurs. You just need to survive it and not interfere. You also need to respect the personal boundaries of the child, for example, without knocking, do not enter his room. He must also have his own space where he can feel safe, calmly go about his business and not think that mom or dad will burst with complaints. In general, this is a normal process, you just need to be patient and make as much effort as possible so that the child can trust you, come to you with any question, including about first love.

- And if the child in this period got involved with bad company? Here it’s impossible to stop interfering ...

- In this case, you need to understand that he receives this from this company. As a rule, the weak side with the stronger. What does he want to learn from them? Why did they suddenly become interesting to him? Maybe it is important for him to be authoritative, aggressive in his midst. Because during this period, teens become quite cruel, tearing each other's negative emotions.

At what age does one need to explain to a child what respect is?

- The earlier the better. In general, up to three years, the child does not have an understanding of what kind of person is in front of him: adult, young, old man. He has all the people in principle equal - he refers to any person on the "you". From the age of three you already need to start educating this.

- And if you failed to do it on time?

- If the child is already, for example, ten years old and still cannot accept authority, then you need to look at the family: it means there is something like this in the relationship between mom and dad or parents and grandmother. As you relate to your parents in the company of your child, as you relate to him yourself, so he will relate to you.

Does television and the internet affect the child’s attitude to elders? Now there are a lot of videos on the network in which children insult the teacher and think it's cool.

— Если это просто видеоролик, то это не так страшно, а вот если его поддерживают одноклассники и собираются теперь издеваться над своим учителем, то тут надо обращаться к школьному психологу, специалистам, которые смогут остановить этот буллинг учителя. А вообще, учитель должен обладать навыком не отдавать власть детям.

Говоря о влиянии интернета в общем, если ребёнок маленький, есть возможность блокировать определенный контент в сети, и он его не увидит. But if he is already 15, blocking sites and sources is unlikely to succeed. If norms of respect have been instilled in him since childhood, most likely such videos will cause him fierce criticism.

How often do parents turn to you with a problem of disrespect in the family?

- Constantly. Very often parents come with children aged 9-10 years who do not obey them. There were even cases when children told their parents that they would now call the helpline to be deprived of parental rights. Children are cruel in this regard. In such cases, you need to understand what is the reason. Perhaps this type of manipulation is present in the family. First of all, it is necessary to eradicate this manner of communication, otherwise there will be no result. It is the same if you sit at home with a cigarette and teach your child not to smoke.

- What in such cases do you advise your parents?

- I always look at the relationship of parents with each other: what kind of family system at home, who is connected to the upbringing, maybe grandmother or godmothers. In any case, help is needed not for children, but primarily for parents. It is very difficult to work when parents come and say, say, do something with my child, and we went, we have business. They are not ready to work on themselves and want to fix the broken, but in fact it did not break just like that. And if the parents are ready to work, follow the recommendations of a specialist, then the problems are solved.

- Do I need to explain to the child that it is necessary to respect not only elders, but also peers?

- Yes, it is necessary to explain that the other person is a person and a completely different country, the borders of which do not need to be crossed. You can’t just approach a person and touch him or ask questions that lead into a stupor, for example, “why are you so fat”? This is ridiculous when the child is very small, but when he is 11-12 years old, then this is no longer the norm. In order for a child to understand this, one must not only explain such things to him, but also communicate with him as an adult, and respect his opinion. He must understand what he does, argue and be responsible for his actions.

For example, you are discussing with your husband the purchase of a new car. Put the child in the car, let him also say his opinion. He will feel that he is not small, and understand his importance in the family.

- Is it worth going to a psychologist if the family has problems, or can you cope on your own?

- You need to go to a psychologist. If there are difficulties in the parent-child relationship, and you understand that you don’t hear each other, there are always screams, scandals and nothing moving at home, come to the consultation at least once and listen to the opinion of a specialist.

So, in order to teach a child to respect elders, you need:

  1. Show a personal example,
  2. Explain why you should do this and not otherwise
  3. Talk to him like an adult, reckon with his opinion,
  4. Do not scandal in his presence with households.

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I cover various aspects of the life of the city, I do not like to get attached to any particular topic. Medicine, real estate, tourism, culture, psychology - I write about everything that is interesting at the moment. The main thing is that the reader finds something useful for himself in the article.