Sleepaway camps are awesome for kids. They get to meet and make new friends, learn new skills, and just be kids. But, you can’t send your child away overnight with other people if they don’t know how to be respectful.
Doing this could result in your child being sent home early, or even shame for your child if they don’t understand what they’ve done wrong. That’s why it’s so important to know how to teach a child respect and discipline.
Whether you’re preparing your child for their first time away from home or you’re simply trying to learn how to teach your child respect, you’re in the right place. We’ve got some tips for you. Keep reading to learn more.
How to Teach Respect to Your Child Before Sleepaway Camps
Preparing your child for sleepaway camps should be based on respect. You will not be there to encourage or correct them in every situation they encounter. And, their behavior will reflect on your parenting.
Don’t want to be embarrassed by or for your child? Follow these tips:
Respect Your Child
Teaching your child respect starts with your own actions toward them. Children learn by mimicking their parents.
Always use your manners. Your children are always looking and they hear everything.
Don’t demand things from your child. Ask nicely and say please.
Respect Your Spouse
Teaching children respect also boils down to how you treat your spouse. If you are condescending or critical, your child will pick up these traits, too.
Be polite with your spouse in all interactions, even if you’re angry or arguing. The way you treat your spouse may be the most influential perception your child can experience in their formative years.
Respect for Elders
If you want your child to respect others, they must first learn how to respect elders. This means you! You are their elder as well as their parent.
You should also teach them to respect their grandparents so they may attain a healthy spirit toward the elderly in general.
Say “Thank You”
One of the easiest ways to instill the notion of respect in your child’s heart and mind is by using these two simple words whenever possible or necessary. Say it when they do something you like. Say it, especially, when they are showing respect.
Tell the Truth
Don’t lie to your kids. Children will inevitably learn to lie in life but it’s important to make them understand that it’s wrong. You can’t teach this if you tell them things and don’t follow through.
Use discretion when making promises, even minor ones. Your child will remember those times when they were let down or unpleasantly surprised.
Teach Love (Not Rules)
The first thing you will learn in any self-help book about respect for kids is to promote love and compassion in everything you do. Of course, there are rules in life. But, you can instill a sense of law with proper reasoning.
Explain why the rules exist. That is because you love and care about them and their wellbeing. And others’.
It’s also important to acknowledge your children when they do nice things. Simply saying ‘thank you’ may not completely send the message. Really try to engage with your child and tell them what it was that they did nicely and how it made you or others feel.
Do reprimand them as well. You can do it lovingly with a simple reminder that tells them what they did wrong so they know how to correct it.
Lead By Example
Teaching kids respect is ultimately about being respectful yourself. Not only to your spouse or your parents. To your children and strangers in all of your daily encounters.
Hold the door for people in public. Smile when someone looks at you.
Your child is a sponge and wants to be like you. Leading by example is the best way to show your child what it means to be respectful.
Practice Memory Skills
One of the most important skills in respect you can teach your child before they head off to sleepaway camps is to remember people’s names. You can do this with memory games or by helping your child become aware of their surroundings when associating with others.
Personal space is important to all of us. Especially when your child is meeting new friends they should be able to understand boundaries.
Show your child personal space with your arms. An arm’s length is usually sufficient space to stay out of reach of someone’s comfort zone.
Considerations for People With Disabilities
People with disabilities can be confusing for young children. They may stare or point and ask (loud) questions.
Consider introducing your child to someone with a visible disability so that they can become more comfortable and learn to be considerate.
Your child should show an increased level of respect when they are a guest somewhere. Likewise, they should learn to acknowledge guests of their own in a respectful manner. Give them incentives to be on their best behavior in the presence of others until they understand.
Changing the Subject
Your child is going to be involved in a lot of conversations during their getaway. Teach them not to interrupt others. You can also teach discipline about changing subjects in conversation by keeping them on track when you’re describing something to them.
The best thing you can do for your child when teaching respect is to praise respectful behavior. Your child will notice and it will reflect in their future behavior.
Be realistic about your goals for your child. Each child is different and develops at a different pace.
Stay calm and don’t be a pushover or you’ll never get through to them. Just keep these tips in mind as you work through this stage in your child’s life and they’ll be ready for sleepaway camps in no time!
When you feel like your child is ready for sleepaway camps, feel free to contact us. We have expert camp advisors standing by to answer all of your questions and get your child signed up for their very own adventure.