Learning about respect
Schools around the world – including in South Africa – have experienced a rise in pupils disrespecting teachers.
While children’s environment plays a role in forming their responses to authority figures, it’s parents who need to instil a basic understanding of respect in their kids. Cindy Glass, founder of Step Up Education Centres, pinpoints three areas to focus on:
1. Walking the talk
The foundation of all values and good behaviour is the home, which is why socialisation is crucial in moulding who
children become. Kids mimic what their parents do – not what they say – so if your own attitude to others is dismissive or disrespectful, that’s what your children will learn. ‘Encourage respect for teachers by respecting
your child’s teachers yourself. Avoid “teacher-bashing” conversations and seek positive solutions to challenges,’
2. Teachers make mistakes too
‘Educators have an enormous responsibility to help children become the best version of themselves,’ says Cindy. However, they’re only human and make mistakes from time to time. Teach your child that disrespectful comments and abusive behaviour aren’t an appropriate response. Instead, encourage them to communicate openly with their teacher if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly.
3. Kids need to make their own mistakes too
Teach your children to admit when they’re wrong, take responsibility for their actions and avoid blaming others. Instead of taking out their frustrations on their teachers, they should learn to approach them for help, just as they’d approach you. ‘Pupils need to understand that challenges are a part of growth and learning. There are always ways to get the help they need, without a show of disrespect to anyone,’ says Cindy.
COMPILED BY NOLWAZI DHLAMINI PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM