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It is just wonderful to see how little seeds planted by us in the toddler’s minds grow into a huge tree and bring us happiness. We relish when the kid says the first words. We enjoy when they start muttering the first rhyme. We are over the top when they start identifying our kith and kin and call them affectionately. With the advent of talking- sometimes- comes unexpected surprises.
Kids who are taught to love mom and dad- should be taught to respect everybody else in the scenario – the same way. Kids picturised in movies hardly confine to this rule. Ridiculing teachers, making a mockery of parents a la teasing them- or finding faults with grandparents- are the ones that are sadly portrayed of many kids in the television or movies. Respect needs to start very young and needs to start at home. Teach your kids the simple words- Please, Thankyou and most importantly Sorry.
Your help at home gives you a hand with the groceries bag- your kid is watching. Say Thanks clear enough so that your now-learning-to-speak-kid can hear it. They ll imitate the word the next time. Your chauffeur drops you back home- Slip in a word of Thanks when your kid is watching- He/She will surely say it one day. “Please” is another easy word to teach your kids. Once you see the signs of talking in a kid- when they start demanding- for eg- their toys, books or even food, subtly introduce the word please. What might seem like a word used only with mom- will soon expand wings- and you would see your kid using it (to their convenience!) with their favourite aunts, uncles and grandparents. And as a mom- you will surely score some brownie points ;)
Another important aspect of respect that needs to be taught- in my view- is addressing people who work for us. When we have laid strong godlen rules on how to address mom, dad and other family members with due respect- the same holds good for those who work for us as well. If you feel your kid is observing and learning words too fast- be careful about the words you use in front of them. Never address a help/maid by their name in front of the kid. Chances are that they will surely repeat it. just to see your reaction. Always tell your kid to respect them (irrespective of their financial or social strata). Add a Didi/Akka/Aunty to their name if you must call them by name. No one- trust me- would like a 2/3 year old giving them instructions or calling them out by name.
Manners and respect start at home. Be the person you would want your child to grow up to be :)