HOW TO TEACH CHILDREN RESPECTFUL DISAGREEMENTS
Respectfully disagreeing with others is an essential life skill that children should learn from an early age. School-age children are developing their own identities and determining what they enjoy and don’t like, all while creating their own ideas on the world around them. It’s normal for them to disagree with a friend, family member, or even a teacher or coach from time to time.
It’s beneficial for children to learn to establish their own opinions and to be able to articulate them. Kids need to know that they must express themselves respectfully, whether they’re talking to adults or other children. In fact, it is a sign of maturity to be able to calmly express your thoughts even if they contradict with those of others. Adults who can’t accomplish this appear immature to others.
What Parents Can Do to Inspire Civility in Their Children’s Conversations
- When you’re watching the news, keep an eye on what your child is seeing, and observe what your child is doing online. On television, politicians and pundits may exchange barbs. People may post savage comments on social media sites. Teaching kids to stand up to bullying and meanness is crucial.
- To help your child become a better listener, show him or her that you value his or her opinions by paying listening when they have something to say. A crucial skill for both school and later in life is listening. Make sure your child understands the other person’s point of view by teaching him or her to pay attention to what they have to say.
- At supper, talk about the news. Regular family dinners have been related to favorable outcomes for children’s health and development, such as a lower risk of obesity, improved academic achievement, and a greater sense of self-worth. They help kids communicate their feelings about the world and their own lives. What are you studying in school? What books have you read? What current events are happening? These are all good topics for your child to discuss with you. Let your thoughts flow freely and appreciate each other’s viewpoints.
- Take a step back and teach him to see things from the perspective of others. One of the essential characteristics of empathy has been found to be important for children’s success in later life. Seeing things from another person’s perspective teaches children to perceive things more nuancedly (“I’m right; you’re wrong”) and gives things worth even if they disagree with them.
- Your youngster should be taught to hold fast to his own opinions and views. When everyone else is doing something else, it might be difficult to follow your own path. The actual sign of confidence in one’s own viewpoint is not to trash other people’s views in order to make your own stronger—that is the true sign of confidence in one’s own views.
- Make sure she realizes that politeness is still required in text messages and email exchanges. There is a lot of communication taking place via email, text, and instant messaging among both children and adults today. Children must realize that they must still use these platforms to express themselves respectably. Teaching children to avoid insulting other people’s opinions and to constantly attempt to see things from their perspective is an important part of teaching them how to interact with others.
- When someone expresses an opinion, don’t scold them for it. Irreconcilable differences of opinion should never become personal. Any discussion should be free of insults or name-calling.