Parenting Resources

Teaching Respect to Teens and Adolescents

Some parenting styles have encouraged older children to act as though they were in charge, but without demonstrating appropriate accompanying responsibility. No place is this more evident than in schools and public settings.

However, it's never too late to teach your children respect, and it’s an important aspect of character development that will serve them well in the world of work.

  • Reward behaviors that show respect. For example, when your son brings the car back full of gas, congratulate him on being responsible and consider rewarding him with an additional hour of use the next weekend
  • Apologize when you have said or done something wrong to your child and thank your teen when he or she apologizes.
  • Encourage your teens to volunteer, supporting other-centered behavior, and altruism 
  • Model and teach the art of non-interruption.
    • Listening shows respect – so show respect when your teen is talking with you (or others). 
    • Discuss the importance of politely listening to opposing positions or ideas by repeating what the other person said. Then calmly explain your point of view, and acknowledge all can agree to disagree. Reinforce this (as it’s difficult to do) by explaining it shows maturity.