Teaching Respect – Unit Study and Badge Resources
What is respect? Why is it important? Use our free Unit Study on Teaching Respect to earn your Respect Badge. Character based badges help develop character traits in your kids that will help them become happier, more productive citizens as adults. Other badges you may wish to earn alongside might include badges such as Family, Leave No Trace, Anti-Bullying or Etiquette.
What is respect?
The dictionary definition of respect is, “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.” Thomas Lickona, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and author of How to Raise Kind Kids, defines respect as “showing regard for the intrinsic worth of someone or something. We treat everyone, even people we dislike, as having rights, dignity, and worth equal to our own.” Respect is something that needs to be practiced daily.
Common courtesy is frequently forgotten in today’s fast paced world. Trying to have a conversation with someone who won’t stop staring at their phone makes people feel unimportant and worthless. Rolling your eyes or using a derisive tone of voice makes the other person feel like they are stupid and insignificant. Showing others respect is also showing kindness. It is putting their needs and feelings above your own.
To Do: Use the form below to discuss what respect looks and sounds like. Think of a scenario where each form of respect might be used. In what other ways is respect seen and heard?
Fulfills requirement #1
Building a respectful character
Respect is a general term built from a variety of character traits. It embodies patience, kindness, and self control among others.
To Do: Make a “respect bouquet” using the Victorian Language of flowers. This could be either real flower bouquet or a collage made of cutout photos. Discuss the meaning of various flowers and why they would, or would not, be included in your bouquet. Flowers like acacia for friendship, canterbury bell for acknowledgement, coriander for hidden worth, or garden chervil for sincerity are just a few examples.
Fulfills requirement #5
The Golden Rule
The basis of respect can be found in the golden rule of treating others the way you would like to be treated. Teaching respect means acknowledging that everyone is is different. We look different, sound different, have different religions and different likes and dislikes. Respect is about treating ALL people in a kind and considerate manner. You can disagree with someone, or even dislike them, and still show them respect in the way you treat them.
To Do: Watch the RESPECT rap below on Youtube by Frank Porter Graham Elementary School in North Carolina. While their rap is about respect at school, how would you change it to reflect a homeschool environment? Write your own song, rap, or poem about what respect means to you and how it should be shown in your home.
Fulfills requirement # 15
Respecting the environment
Teaching respect is more than teaching how to treat others. It is also how you treat the world around you. Respecting other people’s property and not damaging or vandalizing it. Respecting nature and not destroying it. Just as respect means showing regard for the intrinsic worth of a person, it is also true about showing regard for the physical world.
To Do: Learn the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. Then collect a variety of leaves off the ground (do not pick them off the trees or bushes) that are still supple and not dried out. Create leaf rubbings using crayons and a piece of paper. Then scatter the leaves back where you found them. Discuss why it is important to create and a keep a rubbing rather than the leaf itself. Discuss other ways in which we can show respect to our environment.
Fulfills requirement #18.
Teaching respect by living it
One of the easiest ways to teach respect is to demonstrate it yourself as a parent. One of the easiest ways to learn respectfulness is to emulate the respectful nature of others. When you are around others, think about the way they make you feel. When they interact with you, do they make you feel good about yourself or do they belittle you or make you feel worthless? What is it about their behavior that makes you feel that way? Is it their tone of voice? The words they choose? Their body language?
To Do: Think about a time when someone made you feel bad about yourself. Then think about your own behavior. Have you ever made someone else feel bad by exhibiting the exact same behavior? Then think about a time when someone made you feel really good about yourself. Identify how they conducted their behavior to make your feel that way. How can you modify your own behavior to show respect for others. Practice being respectful of others for two weeks. Make a chart and mark on it when you were respectful of others and when you weren’t. Which should happen more often?
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