Respect, as I mentioned in my last post, comes in lots of different forms. We need to have respect for God’s laws, our elders, our peers, our belongings, this planet, ourselves, etc. One way that children learn is through role playing, so I have tried to incorporate this activity into my character development series in a variety of ways. Teaching respect through role playing is one of the many ways we are going to work on respect throughout this week.
Ways to Show Respect and Role Playing Scenarios for Kids
- Let others get food first. – We pretended we were at a party where the food was being served buffet style. The kids took turns letting each other first.
- Say, “Yes, Mom.” – Teaching kids to obey using the “Yes, Mommy” game is something we like to do. We played that game today.
- Use manners. – I gave the kids the scenario that we were at a grocery store where they wanted something. I was talking to a friend in the aisle. They had to use polite words like please, thank you, OK, and excuse me.
- Keep the earth clean. – I set up a situation where one kid was throwing their garbage on the ground. What do they do? How should they respond?
- Give up your chair for adults or others. – We pretended like all of the chairs were full when I entered the room, so Abby stood up and politely said, “Would you like my chair?”
- Give eye contact. – One of the harder times to show eye contact is when one is apologizing. I made up a situation where the child had broken something. They had to go up to the owner, look them in the eye, make a confession and apology and wait for a response.
- Be sincere. – I am trying to teaching my kids of showing empathy. The scenario I created was that I came to tell them about my friend who was in the hospital and my car that was broken in the shop. They needed to think about the appropriate way to respond in a sincere way, which is hard to do in role playing.
- Open door for others. – We took turns opening the door for each other as we went in and out of rooms in the house.
- Don’t interrupt. – We teach our kids to not interrupt. We do this by having them put their hand on our leg when they want our attention. We respond by putting our hand on their hand. This indicates to them they you are aware that they want your attention. When convenient, I will stop my conversation to respond. Today we worked on this by having a conversation with one while the other one handled the situation in a respectful way.
- Respect differences. – We have talked about the importance of respecting each other’s differences – personality, race, disability, religion, ideas. It doesn’t mean we need to agree 100% but it means you treat others with respect, humanity and kindness. To practice this, I had one of the kids act in a manner that felt odd or different. They also expressed different opinions. Then kids practiced responding in a respectful way.
- Obey people in authority. – We acted out a classroom situation where the teacher had a number of requests that we had to follow. We used this time to talk about not following people in authority who are telling us to do something wrong, dangerous or doesn’t feel right. We talked about the importance of knowing that we never let people touch private parts or in a way that makes us feel uncomfortable.
- Listen when someone speaks. – We let each person take a turn speaking or telling a story. We practiced good listening through eye contact, nods, keeping focused with our hands to ourselves and not speaking.