Parental Responsibilities: Teach Your Kids The Importance Of ‘Dignity’
Sooner or later your little one is going to come running up to you and ask the meaning of a new word he/she learnt that day; Dignity! Which indicates that as and when he/she does ask you what the word means; you better be in a good position to answer it!
Dignity is a tricky word when it comes to understanding human values and norms. Although every living being in this world needs to be treated with respect, the truth that we see in front of our eyes on a day to day basis is far from it. So instead of waiting for your kid to approach you with the word, why not instill in them the meaning, trait and significance of word ‘dignity’ beforehand by following these simple tips?
Children learn best by examples, not lectures. And so whenever you bring up the topic of dignity and its values, try to cite examples that your kids could relate to. For example, teach them the importance and significance of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when passing around dishes to everybody elese during dinner. Point out the significance of saying ‘sorry’ when they do something wrong.
Talk about role models you feel were very dignified during their lifetime and explain what traits and characteristics they portrayed in order to be treated with dignity by others. It is not completely necessary that you choose a well known role model like Mother Teresa.
Even people in your neighborhood can be cited as examples for individuals who are dignified and respectable. For example, you can take the example of the girl next door who always helps carry the elderly landlord’s groceries; or a person down the street who utilises his/her spare time to work at an orphanage. The important point to be considered here is not the people you choose, but the reasons why you feel they are dignified.
Alternatively, you can also point out instances in TV shows and videos where individuals treat others with respect and dignity. It also pays to point out instances where individuals don’t act in a dignified manner. This way, your children would find it easier to distinguish between the two traits.
Children learn from others as well, especially their parents. If you want your kids to become dignified individuals in the future, you better start teaching them the core values of the same from a very young age itself. And one important lesson is adhereing to these rules yourself.
If you want your kid to learn the meaning of dignity and how to treat others accordingly, you need to treat them with dignity first. Give them the respect they deserve in terms of patience and kindness. Your kid would definitely carry on your example and start treating others around him/her with respect as well.
A little pat on the back, a just praise now and then, and a small gift! All these would go a long way in reinforcing the core values of dignity and self respect in yout little one’s heart. As and when you find your kid doing something helpful or positive for others, praise him/her or offer him/her a reward. Encourage the practise of dignified behavior when it comes to playing games, sharing toys, and making friends etc.
Remember! What our kids become tomorrow is a direct result of what we teach them today. By instilling in them the core values and traits of dignity, in addition to making them understand the importance of self respect, both personal and shared; you would be able to ensure that they would grow up to be highly distinguished individuals tomorrow.