This month we’re talking about the character trait of Respect. The
dictionary defines it as the value of admiring another person for who they are
and what they do. The definition we are using at school is:
Respect: seeing good in people and
things (and treating them with care).
We are also talking about Respect in the context of using good
manners, not using inappropriate or offensive language, being courteous to one
another, resolving conflicts peacefully, and treating one another as we would
want to be treated (and how they want to be treated!).
Talk with your child about what it means to be respectful, to be
courteous and to use their manners, to solve conflict peacefully, and what it
means to treat others the way they want to be treated.
The core value of Respect invites us to celebrate differences,
offering us a beautiful opportunity to work with our children to break down
stereotypes. Ask what they think of when they think about grandparents, for
example. Expect answers like “they’re old, they’re slow, they’re forgetful,
they’re nice, they’re understanding, they’re generous.” Let them share without
judgement, to get all of their thoughts out. Then have a conversation about how
these are stereotypes that may or may not be accurate for all grandparents and
why thinking about people as individuals instead of in groups can be an
exercise in Respect.
If Respect means making others see good in people and making people
feel cared for, how do we already show Respect at home? How can we do a better
job showing Respect as both kids and adults?
Questions You Could Ask
What do “good manners” look like in our family? How does using
good manners show Respect?
How does it feel to be respected? How does it feel to be
disrespected? Who are the most respectful people you know?
Is it easier or harder to Respect someone who is very different
from us? Why?
What do I do that makes you feel respected? How else does that
make you feel?
Books about Respect
Hey, Little Ant by
Phillip and Hannah Hoose
To squish or not to squish? A child has a chance to squish an ant, but before
doing so, the ant pleads its case.
A Bad Case of Stripes by David
Will Camilla Cream survive loving lima beans even though none of her friends
The Colors of Us by Karen
Take a walk with Lena and her mom to see and discuss the different colors and
shades in our skin tone.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles
A touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance.
With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would
think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some
encouraging words from an unlikely friend.
Whoever You Are by Mem
This book teaches that all humans are alike, even though we may look and think
differently. Students will learn even though someone is different than you,
they should still be treated with Respect.
Hang a ruler somewhere in the house or make one out of a piece of
paper and call it the “Respect Ruler.” Talk with your child about what each end
of the ruler means – on one end is “disrespectful” and on the other is
“respectful.” Anytime your child makes a choice that is disrespectful or
respectful towards themselves or others, walk them to the “Respect Ruler” and
have them self-identify where they think that choice was on the scale and why.
Anytime your answer is different than theirs, talk about why!