While Kids Ministry is now having Sunday morning activities at the church, we understand that there are some families who are not able to join us in-person. We want to stay connected to our families and continue discipling all our kids, regardless of whether they are here at The Heights or at home.
Each week, those of you joining us online can watch Kids Ministry live on our FACEBOOK PAGE Sundays at 9:30 AM. During this Livestream, kids will have the opportunity to worship and listen to Bible lessons from our wonderful staff and volunteers. We will also continue to have our Bible Review Activities and GodTime Devotionals posted to our blog as well as the church app.
Four Ways to Teach Your Kids to Value and Respect Others
1. Teach Your Kids to Love Jesus
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:1-5 (NIV)
There are many resources, blogs, and parenting newsletters that will give instruction or tips on how to correct your children’s behavior or how to train them to respect others. I do not want to downplay how helpful those can be for parents, but there is no greater way to see a transformation in your child’s life than by introducing them to Jesus. That is because we are not naturally born caring and respecting others. Our hearts are selfish and self-centered.
Jesus is the only one who truly has the power to change our selfish hearts, to give us the perfect example of one who values others above himself, and to help us when we are weak. Make following and loving Jesus the number one priority in your family, and your children will grow up knowing they should have the same mindset of Christ when it comes to valuing and respecting others.
2. Model Respect for Others
“The values-in-action of the parents are the ones that children see and imitate. For this reason, parents who intend to communicate traditional moral values to their children need to be conscious of how they, as parents, live, speak, and behave.” (Strommen and Hardel, Passing On the Faith, 88-93).
If you teach your kids to respect others, but then yell at the referee, complain about your boss, insult their teacher, or have an attitude with a store employee, your kids will see respecting others as optional and not something Christ commands us to do.
If you yell at the driver in the slow lane, or cut others off in traffic, talking down about the lifestyle choices of others, or seek to “cheat the system” to benefit your family at the detriment of others, your kids will learn that taking care of themselves is more important than considering the thoughts and feelings of others.
Instead, as a parent you need to be sure to model what respecting authority looks like, especially in the moments you may not want to. You need to show what putting other's needs looks like and go out of your way to help others. These types of non-verbal lessons will do more good at shaping the way your children treat others than any verbal lesson will.
3. Set Firm Boundaries
The only one of the 10 commandments directed at children commands them to honor, or respect, their father and mother (Exodus 20:12). So, teaching your children to value and respect others begins by teaching them to respect you.
Parents must work together as a team and have clear boundaries for the whole family. Let your “no” mean “no” so your child understands who is in charge. Have a clear list of consequences for breaking the rules, so your child knows they can be held accountable for their actions. If a child is disrespectful and tries to talk back, firmly but calmly let them know that disrespectful talk is not allowed in your family.
It is important that you are respectful to your child while enforcing all these rules as well. Yelling, getting upset, or having an attitude with your child will only counteract what you have been teaching them. Once again let your actions will show them the right path to take, and will let them know that the right way to treat others is with respect.
4. Teach Humility
As C.S. Lewis said. “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less.” Humility naturally causes us to value others because humility causes us to think about others. Even more importantly Jesus teaches us that we should seek to make ourselves lowly and to serve one another (Matt. 18:1-4, Luke 9:46-47, John 13:1-17).
The best way to teach your kid humility is by giving them opportunities to serve others. These acts of service may be as small as dropping a few coins or dollars in the offering plate at church, or as great as helping to serve meals at a local food pantry. The important part is that you find ways for your child to serve and that you serve alongside them. This will reinforce the idea that we should not always be looking to take care of ourselves, but instead, we should look to the needs of others first.
Start looking for opportunities for your family to serve others in November and December. Many serving opportunities that are normally available this time of year may not be available, so extra planning is needed to find ways for your kids to help others. Start now, so that when the time comes, you already have a plan in place and can help teach your kids to value and respect others.
Published on Oct 25 @ 2:28 PM CDT