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November 02
Character Strong November - RESPECT


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!).

Conversation Starters

·         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 Shannon
Will Camilla Cream survive loving lima beans even though none of her friends eat them?

·         The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
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 Andreae
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 Fox
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.


Respect Activity for Home

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!​


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