Signup for our newsletter to receive pregnancy, parenting and child health updates.

ask an expert

How can I teach my child to be respectful?

Help! My child doesn't speak nicely to others. What can I do?

My daughter doesn't speak respectfully to others. I try to explain the importance of treating others as you would like to be treated, but I am not getting through to her.

How can I teach my child to be respectful?


Katrena Lacey | Pediatrician

Katrena Lacey

Respect is a learned and practiced behavior. It begins with observation of those around you.

Children learn respect by observing the adults around them and how they treat other individuals.

Next, it is important to set clear expectations for children. For example, start with explaining who are the authority figures in their lives (teachers, parents, grandparents). 

Explain the rules of being respectful.

Lastly, explain that there are consequences for disrespectful behavior, such as time outs or losing privileges.

Remember, this is practiced behavior and children will need reminders, patience, and a sense that they are respected as individuals as well. Another way to think of this it to create an "atmosphere" of respect around the child.

Read more answers by Dr. Lacey