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A Child's Lesson: Respect

Updated on September 26, 2009

Teaching Young Children Respect Can Be Challenging

This is a lesson in respect that I wrote when my daughter was seven years old.The lesson defines respect and how we show it to others. Children don't always understand when they are told to respect others. Of course we lead by example, but a clear illustration is always effective. It has a short story about a girl who is not respectful. My daughter agreed she didn't want to be that girl. This was an effective lesson for her. I am hoping others will be able to use this with their children or Sunday School.

What is Respect?

Being thoughtful and considering the feelings of others.

Behaving in a polite way towards others around you.

How Can you Show Respect?

You should greet someone when they enter the room.

You can speak politely to others when having a conversation.

By listening to others when they speak and waiting until they finish before offering your own thoughts.

Can you think of any other ways to show respect?

Gina's Shopping Trip

See if you can find things Gina could do to better show respect.

Gina went to the store with her mother. She always liked to shop for groceries. When they walked in the door, a lady smiled at them. Gina's mother knew the lady and they began to talk. Gina did not want to wait any more. She jumped up and down. She rattled the shopping cart. She yelled at her mother "Stop talking! I want to shop now!"

Gina's mother asked her politely, "Please wait a moment, Gina. I am speaking to my friend. We will shop in a moment." Gina puffed out her cheeks and curled out her lower lip. She crossed her arms and stomped on the floor. "I will not wait." She said in an angry voice. Since her mother was still talking, Gina had to wait. As promised when her mother said goodbye to the lady, she and Gina began to shop.

On the list were vegetables. Gina didn't like vegetables and said so each time her mother picked one up. Gina wanted fruit, so her mother looked over the fresh fruits. Gina wanted apples. Her mother found some nice juicy apples and put them in the cart. Gina smiled and said, "Thank you, Mommy." Her mother smiled and said, "You're welcome, Gina."

They continued to shop. When it was time to buy a box of cereal, Gina chose a sugary chocolate cereal. Her mother knew it was not very good for her and suggested a nutritious cereal that was also chocolaty. Gina cried and yelled. She held onto the cereal she had picked and fell on the floor. Her mother finally put the good cereal in the cart. She asked Gina to please stand up, but Gina was too busy screaming to hear her. Finally, when people were standing in the aisle staring at Gina on the floor, she stood up and put the cereal back. Gina knew her mother was right.

It was time to check out and pay for the food. Gina stood quietly with her mother. They were in an aisle with no candy on display. Gina wanted a candy for being good. Her mother told her no candy. Gina ran to the next aisle to look at the candy. She pushed a little boy out of her way so she could see better, He began to cry. Gina's mother took her arm. She asked her to leave the candy and come back to the cart. Her mother needed to pay for their groceries, Gina really wanted a candy. She puffed out her cheeks and curled out her lower lip. She crossed her arms and stomped on the floor. "I will not go." She said in an angry voice. Her mother smiled at the mommy in line and asked if she would watch Gina for a moment. The lady smiled and said she would. Gina knew her mother had to pay for the groceries, but she didn't want to leave without her candy. She heard her mother talking to the cashier in the next aisle. Gina pretended not to hear when her mother called to her. Gina didn't want to leave. She wanted her candy. Gina's mother came to take Gina by the arm again. Gina stood and made an angry face at her mother. Finally, Gina stomped away to leave the store. Gina didn't help her mother put the groceries into the car. She buckled into her booster seat, puffed out her cheeks and curled out her lower lip. She crossed her arms. When all the groceries were in the car, her mother drove her home.

Think about...

Was Gina Respectful?

How could Gina have shown more respect to the people around her?

Do you think Gina's mother liked taking Gina to the store?

Would you want to go to the store with Gina?

Is Gina someone you would want to be friends with?

Respect in the Bible

Romans 12:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Philippians 2:3

New International Version (NIV)

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

More Sunday School Lessons - Look here for other ideas on teaching young children

Resources for Raising Respectful Children

Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation

More than a tool to correct bad behavior, this handbook urges parents to move beyond typical discipline techniques by creating an environment based on mutual respect, emotional safety, and positive, open communication. The seven outlined principles redefine the parent-dominated family by teaching parents how to achieve mutual parent/child respect without being submissive, set firm limits without using demands or coercion, and empower children to open up, cooperate, and realize their own innate potential. Based on Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication process, the framework helps parents break down the barriers to outstanding relationships with their kids by avoiding destructive language and habits that keep parents and children from understanding one another. Activities, stories, and resources help parents immediately apply the seven keys to any parenting situation.

Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way (Nonviolent Communication Guides)
Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way (Nonviolent Communication Guides)

Your search for parenting tips that actually improve your family dynamics is over. While other parenting resources offer communication models or discipline techniques, this powerful, practical booklet offers the unique skills and perspective of the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) process. NVC stresses the importance of putting compassionate connection first to create a mutually respectful, enriching family dynamic filled with clear, heartfelt communication. An exceptional resource for parents, parent educators, families and anyone else who works with children.


DVD's to Watch with Children

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    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Lovely ways to teach showing respect! Thanks for sharing your lesson ideas. =D

    • Kitty Perkins profile imageAUTHOR

      Kitty Perkins 

      10 years ago

      [in reply to TheWhistler] Thank you for your kind words.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great idea for a lens. Good for you.

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 

      10 years ago from Corona, CA

      Enjoyed your lens. Nice going.

      Sarah Palin Facts and Trivia



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