Children will often argue, that’s a given. In such situations, respect can still be practiced. There’d be endless fights and sibling rivalry, but when done respectfully it will help kids grow to be much better persons. I tell you or you know for sure, it ain’t easy.

 

   
Example is the best teacher. My older son asks me so often : “Mama, wieso bist du nett zu anderen Menschen?” (Why are you so nice to other people?) I still always get silent before I answer. Truth is, I don’t really know why; I’ve always been nice (to older people, he noticed) and that’s that. His question comes whenever I hold the elevator door for others, when I let older people on my sit, when I extend my hand to the handicapped or when I simply  smile or greet someone we meet by the grocery “Guten Tag.” I would answer him with a smile and say; “it is so and if you notice people are nice to you too if you are nice to them.” He would nod and smile back digesting what I said but I know that without explaining I’ve taught him by example how to be nice and respectful to others.
 
Mediate. Even if this task gives you headaches everyday…er…every hour. Stop your kids when they’re fighting or when disagreeing over something. Take them to sit down with you and sort things out by talking.
 
Listen. Hear all sides of the story (I have 3). Listen without interruption and you’ll get the gist of the problem. Most of the time, one wouldn’t realize that he or she hurt the other, while that other wouldn’t realize that he or she didn’t mean anything. Talking it out will make them see the cause and outcome of what has happened and learn from it.

teaching kids, sibling respect, respectful behavior
Be fair. Easier said than done. 🙁 We’re just humans after all. Try to be fair as much as you can. Never accuse one that he or she started it…take the situation like no one is guilty or accused. If punishment is to be given, explain to them why there is a need for it.
 
Reinforce your kids with praise. Positivity earns positively. Praise them even with the very little thing they did for you, for their siblings or for others. They will learn that when being nice and respectful will make people around them happy, and it is a wonderful feeling.
 
Patience is a virtue. Enough said.
 
Learn the Bible with them. The most important among this list. It seems that most of us has forgotten the good book which holds the most effective teachings of all sorts of topics. It was Jesus after all who taught and showed us about brotherly love and respect; no one has ever showed greater love than he that he lay down his life for others. Quoting Paul in his letter to Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)  Try it, their little heart will surely grow bigger!

The golden rule holds true; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simply put, be in one’s shoes to know empathy.