Encourage Respectful Behavior
When teaching your elementary schooler to behave respectfully toward others, the example you set makes the most impact. Here are some tips:
- Identify people by something other than physical differences. For example, instead of saying, “He’s the man in the wheelchair,” you might say, “He’s wearing a blue shirt.”
- Talk about people as individuals. All people have strengths and weaknesses. Explain to your child that characterizing a large group of people with generalizations is disrespectful.
- Set an example. Include friends of all descriptions in your social interactions.
- Speak up against slurs. You may hear your child call another child a name. Don’t get angry, but do respond. You might say, “We don't speak that way about other people. People are different. But everyone thinks and feels and deserves to be treated with respect.”
- Acknowledge differences. It may be easier to pretend that differences don’t exist, but they do, and they shape people's points of view. Let your children know they can always ask questions and discuss differences with you privately.
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West Point Consolidated School District
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