As Christian parents, I’m sure one of your goals is to raise children who look different than the world—to stand out in this dark culture and behave in a way that honors God. But it’s tough! The world is a dark place, and kids are surrounded by many things that influence them otherwise. Your work is cut out for you.

We are here to help. This month’s Online Parenting Class video is about manners, politeness and respect. Let’s focus on one of those characteristics today: respect. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines respect as, “high or special regard,” or “an act of giving particular attention or consideration.” Basically, when we teach our children to respect others, we are teaching them to consider them as esteemed or important.

The apostle Paul said, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” in Philippians 2:3. The best model we have for one who respected others by valuing them more than Himself is Jesus—who went to the cross for us.

As a parent, it’s your job to teach respect to your kids when they are young. Here is a fun idea for how to help your child understand what respect “looks” like. Create a chart titled “What Respect Looks Like.” Divide it up into two columns, and then break the columns up into four rows. Label each box in the first column: in the classroom, on the playground, at home, and in my community.

Then, brainstorm what respect looks like for each of those places. Here are some examples:

In the classroom – Sitting still, raising my hand before speaking, following rules, being nice, listening to the teacher and other students, cleaning up after myself

On the playground – Being helpful, playing fair, playing by the rules, not being a bully, being aware of the little ones, listening to the playground monitor

At home – Listening to my parents or family members who are older, doing chores, keeping my room clean, taking care of my pets, obeying my parents, talking quietly

In my community – Not littering, obeying authority, keeping the front yard clean, saying hello to neighbors, thanking policemen and firemen

This is just one of many ways to teach respect. When you witness your child respecting you and others, make sure to acknowledge that you took notice. It will build them up and reinforce what respect “looks” like.

I’m praying for you and trusting God is meeting you each day as you strive to “train up [your] child in the way he should go” (Psalm 22:6). Press on!

Partnering with you,

Parenting Class Video

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, suggestions or problems with these resources!

p.s. Watch for more help in part 2!