October 25, 2020

How to Teach a Child Respect and Discipline

If you are facing behavioral issues with your child, then you are not alone. Many parents have to deal with such problems at some stage of their kid’s life. Spanking, nagging at, or punishing your child will not solve the cause. Only proper training and instructing can give positive results. Respect is not just about saying “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am.” It is looking up someone with reverence. Disciplining your child is nothing short of training your child on how to properly behave.

To teach a child respect and discipline, you need to train them to practice alternative positive behaviors to replace negative responses. This requires your time and patience as these are the skills that can build a healthy life for your child. It will develop your child’s self-control, self-respect, and self-reliance.

How to Teach a Child Respect and Discipline

Effective Ways of Teaching Your Child Respect and Discipline

Depending on your child’s age, behavior, temperament, and your parenting style, you can choose the appropriate technique to discipline your child. Before beginning to discipline, make sure your child understands what your expectation is and why it is important to behave appropriately. The following are some of the effective methods to teach respect and discipline to make your child responsible adults.


1.   Exhibit Respectful Behavior with Your Child

During the development and growth phase, children learn from you. Hence, you should demonstrate respectful behavior first. We often fail to respect our children, and it can lead to disrespectful behavior of the child.

  • Listen to your child when he speaks.
  • Make eye contact during conversations and show interest.
  • Allow your kid to express opinions during any family discussions.
  • Do not criticize your kid in a rude manner.

When your child shows disrespectful behavior, politely correct them. In a calm and firm manner, tell your child that this behavior is not acceptable. Be honest when you speak to your child, and show how much you value the parent-child relationship. This will make your child admire you and respect you.

2.     Teach Your Child Polite Ways of Responding

Teaching your child some necessary social interaction skills like saying “Please” and “Thank you” is an essential step in teaching your child to be respectful. Learning these simple social skills allows your child to respect others and acknowledge them in a rightful way. Using “Please” and “Thank you” in your daily conversation can be an effective way of encouraging your kid to use these phrases often.

3.     Catch Disrespectful Behavior Early and Correct It

If your child is being slightly disrespectful, don’t turn a blind eye. Identify such behavior and explain to your child that this behavior is not right. As a parent, it is essential to identify your child’s disrespectful behavior early and correct it. Interacting well with your kids and teaching them discipline and respect can help them to move together as a family.

When you see disrespectful behavior in your child, try to identify the cause and circumstance, and give a problem-solving approach to the whole scenario. Explain to your child how he can express emotions without being disrespectful and how together you can solve the problem.

4.    Stay Calm and Do Not Overreact

While dealing with your child’s bad behavior, it is normal to feel out of control or stressed, but do not overreact. Every kid has conflicts with their parents; try to not take it personally. If you overreact, your child may become rigid, and it won’t help him in managing his emotions or thoughts. As a parent, your role is to stay calm and deal with your child’s behavior objectively.

5.     Set Some Limits

Set some rules and boundaries for your child’s behavior. Have realistic expectations. Take your child into account, and know their views on these limitations. Also, be clear about the consequences of breaking the rules, and repeat these rules regularly to your child.

With a busy life, you may find it challenging to be consistent, but with clear communication, you can set your expectations and let your kid work within the boundaries. Be clear about your ground rules and consequences. For example, if your kid fails to adhere to the screen time, then he will lose the privilege for the next day or two.

6.    Appreciate Your Child’s Effort and Good Behavior

Recognize and appreciate your child’s effort when they try to be polite. Your appreciation motivates your child to continue the good behavior.  Your own behavior and reactions teach a lot of things to your child. Praising and encouraging is an excellent way of building discipline in your child’s life.

Giving attention to your child is the most powerful tool that reinforces good behavior. Every child needs their parents’ attention and appreciation.

7.     Be a Parent, Not a Friend

You want to be friendly with your child, and you want to be liked by your child—that is completely normal. However, as a parent, you have a responsibility toward your child to shape them into respectful adults. Be loving, kind, and supportive, but do not spoil them. Teach them the right things so that they know the importance of respect and discipline.

8.   Apologize When Needed

If you did something wrong, admit it. Tell your child you are sorry and how you will be more careful not to repeat your mistake. This will make your child admire you, learn from you, and value your relationship.

Avoid These Mistakes While Disciplining Your Child

Making mistakes and losing temper are unavoidable parts of parenting. Keep reminding yourself to avoid these common errors:

  • Yelling and punishing your child. Disciplining your child means teaching your child how to handle bad behavior and make good choices. For this to develop, take a loving and constructive approach.
  • Trying to discipline your child when you are angry. Take a few minutes to step back, calm down, and collect your thoughts before you talk to your child.
  • Being inconsistent with enforcing good behavior. Be clear and enforce good behavior consistently.
  • Delivering a long speech every time you correct your child. Basically, just focus on how to correct a behaviour with a short explanation.
  • Being negative. Give a positive approach by guiding your child how things can be done better.
  • Using the same technique for every child. Each child has his own personality and temperament. Use different approaches to tailor discipline for every child.
  • Forcing your choices on your child. Allow your child to make his or her own choices, and respect them.
  • Not drawing rules and limitations. Without proper rules, your child will be spoiled and can be often selfish. When you handle your child’s misbehavior with firm guidance, your child will learn from his mistakes and grow to be a better human being.

The best way to discipline your child is by being consistent. When your child throws a tantrum, be patient and teach your child self-control and how to handle emotion in a positive way.

Stay Positive

There may be times when nothing seems to work, or you don’t know what to do next to make your child understand. Take a break. Developing the right skills and discipline in a growing child takes a lot of time and patience. Do not lose hope; your consistency will bring positive results.

If there are any seemingly unresolvable serious behavioral problems on a child, or you have questions regarding behavior issues, do not hesitate to consult a professional and seek help.

About the author 

Jeff and Yvette

Jeff & his Wife Yvette live in Anaheim Hills, in Orange County California.

They're fans of Disneyland, and traveling, and are parents to TWO Awesome Kid, Steven Andrew (10/21), and Amelia (9/19) :-)

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