The Character Counts Coalition uses the color yellow to symbolize the pillar of Respect.
During the month of October, our students will be focusing on the pillar of Respect. There are four key ideas that apply to respect.
- The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be polite and courteous. Respect the rights and freedoms of others. Respect the property of others - take care of things that you borrow and don’t take things without asking permission first.
- Non-violence: Solve disagreements peacefully, without violence. Deal with anger peacefully. Don’t use physical force to show anger or to get what you want.
- Tolerance and acceptance: Respect others who are different from you. Listen to the point of view of others and try to understand their perspective. Don’t judge people by their outside appearances.
- Courtesy: Use good manners. Be polite and courteous to everyone. Do not hurt others by embarrassing them, putting them down, or insulting them. Do not use bad language or inappropriate language.
Ways to Model Respect
- Listen. Make eye contact when your child is talking to you.
- Knock before entering your child’s room, especially if the door is closed.
- Use good language, words and a tone of voice that would be acceptable to you if your child was talking to you.
- Value your child’s need for fun and time with their friends.
- Give your child space to have their own opinions and preferences.
- Value your child’s need for some privacy.
- Ask before using or borrowing something of theirs.
- If your child is struggling and is not at risk of hurting themselves, ask if they want help before rushing in to do it or fix it for them.
- Call your child what they wish to be called. Resist using names or nicknames that they feel are embarrassing or that they have outgrown.
- Let your child answer questions for themselves
Variety Is the Spice of Life!
Diversity is about differences; what makes each one of us “one of a kind.” The United States is home to people originating from all over the world. Your child will go to school and work with people of different races, physical capabilities, skills, talents, learning styles and needs. Together we will do all of “our children” a great service if we promote tolerance and celebrate diversity.
Everyone has different likes and dislikes, thoughts and beliefs, personal qualities, responses and feelings, and family backgrounds. Everyone is alike in that we all want to feel liked/loved, that we belong and that we can enjoy life and be ourselves. A person of character who respects others is tolerant and accepting of differences.
Every day we make decisions about people. Sometimes these are based on experiences that allow us to gather enough information to make a sound decision. Other times we are “pre-judging” others without enough information or experience. We are not born prejudiced, we learn to be this way. Stereotypes are never true, but they can fool us into thinking we know someone, when we really don’t. A respectful person does not go by stereotypes or “pre-judging” people. A person of character takes time to see what is inside not just outside.
Discrimination can hurt everyone involved. It is disrespectful to treat others unfairly because of their differences. Even when people pretend that it does not bother them to be discriminated against, inside they usually feel angry, sad, or lonely. As a result, both parties are losing out of a rewarding experience or friendship when we exclude, tease, or fight with people because they are different. A person of character will respect differences and be able to experience a multitude of interactions with people. People of character grow and learn from their broad experiences with others. The key to getting along with others and succeeding is to learn about differences while also accepting and enjoying them, not pretending that they don’t exist.
What You Can Do At Home
- During mealtime, have each family member name a good quality about each other. By focussing on what each person does well, we are appreciating each person’s uniqueness. Praise and encourage respectful behavior.
- Discuss and set clear expectations and goals for how to show respect to each other. Complete the sentence: I will show respect for _______ by ______. Let it be known ahead of time what the consequences will be for being disrespectful.
- Model respect for your family and people that you encounter in the community.
- Point out and discuss people or characters that show and exemplify respectful behaviors or traits.
- Model and teach your children good manners and insist that they use them.
- Demonstrate and encourage healthy ways to resolve conflicts both inside and outside of your home.
- Allow your children to solve their own day to day problems. Help when you are asked.
- Visit the library together and find books about different cultures, races, abilities, etc. and read them together.
- Seek out opportunities for your child to meet and make friends with a wide variety of children. Make sure your circle of friends is diverse.
- Talk with your child about the way people are different and the same. Emphasize our common humanity while also appreciating our uniqueness.
Prepared for you by Kimberly Pappas, School Counselor. Please call 310-798-8623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of any assistance to you.