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Understanding respect of property – ours or others

respect propertyRespect for ourselves, respect for others, and now showing respect for property – both our own and that of others.  Lets start with items that might belong to us, a book, bike, a drawing or toy.  Remember we talked about how “respect is the behavior shown something or someone that we value”.  All of us can understand the value we place on items that we own.  We may have a special book that we love – we value – it was given to us by a special person in our life or we love the story.  We personally want to take care of it, being sure to put it away in a special place.  We are careful not to tear the pages or break the binding.  When we share it with others, we tell them how special it is to us and give them the rules we have for sharing it with them.  We treat this book “like it matters’.  We value it and expect others to do the same.

Lets imagine that we own a bike – a very special bike exactly what we always wanted.  How would we show respect for this gift from our parents or grandparents?  Would we leave it out in the driveway, laying on the ground overnight, or out in the rain?  Of course not.  We would want to be sure that we cared for it as if it really mattered to us.  If someone wanted to borrow it we may choose to say, “I do not lend my bike out.”  or we may lend it with the request that they treat it with ‘respect’.

We can think of items that are important to our friends and family too.   Sometimes they are items that came from their parents or have special significance due to who or where they came from.  With these items, we would be sure to ask for permission to touch, hold or borrow them.  I remember a special necklace that my wife wore that her grandmother had given her.  There was no great monetary value to the necklace, it was valued because of who had gifted the item.  That sort of special meaning and comfort from that item – made it irreplaceable.

Respect for property, whether it is ours or others is all based on understanding the value of the item, monetary, sentimental or because it was gifted to us.


How to show respect for yourself

Showing respect for ourselves goes beyond the four ways we discussed in class this week:

  1. Healthy eating
  2. exercise
  3. proper amount of sleep
  4. personal hygiene

respect for selfTo have a real self respect it is also important not to be talked into risking our physical or mental health with bad habits such as smoking or drugs.  In fact many young people are drawn into that with a dare from others – a dare to do unhealthy or even dangerous acts.  But a person who has respect for themselves will not succumb to the ‘peer’ pressure.  We know that ‘we matter’.  We value our health and our bodies.

Beyond those things that seem so obvious, it is shows respect for our life when we have a goal or a mission.  Even young people can have a mission or a purpose.  Having this spelled out, understood that this is why I am doing what I am doing will help us keep everything in perspective.  Having and reaching a goal also acts as a building block to the next and possibly larger goal.  As we reach them, our self respect goes up, resulting in greater confidence and self esteem.

I was so happy to hear our students when talking about self respect say very early in the conversation that we should speak to ourselves in a positive manner and not put ourselves down if we make a mistake or fail to get something that we were hoping for.  They really got the message we talked about when discussing confidence.


Respect for yourself – 3 part formula for great health – SLEEP

When we talk about respect we must talk about showing respect for yourself.  You matter.  You are valuable.  One of the most valuable thing that matters the most is our health. Staying healthy and taking care of our bodies has a simple formula.

Eat healthy foods + Exercise + Sleep

Cheat on any of these and you will survive (for a while) but you will not perform at your best.

Sleep-HowMuchDoYouGetANightHere are some tips for the sleep part of our formula.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get up in the morning at the same time every morning.
  • Get 8 – 12 hours of sleep a night depending on your age.
  • Young children need more sleep than adults, but even adults should get 7-8 hours every night.
  • Turn off all electronics 1 hour prior to heading off to bed.
  • Do not do homework or emails (work) laying in bed
  • Have a nighttime routine
  • Be careful of the foods and drink that you have in the evening.  Some of them will inhibit your sleep patterns.

Try these and see a whole new kind of energy for your body.  This is one way of showing respect for yourself.


Respectful actions shows others our feelings of value

respect loopThe demonstration of respect for others by sharing and taking turns says to the other person, “You matter.”  Learning to share for a very young person can be a difficult lesson for some.  Especially when we are young, the world naturally revolves around only one person – me.   But as our children get older, helping them to see the needs of others and even what they may want is part of their learning to respect or value those needs later.

Our children will learn that sharing and taking turns may not be the ‘fun’ thing to do at this moment.  Most likely though it is the fair thing to do. Gaining the reputation of being fair, of sharing and taking turns is a way of maintaining friendships.

Even the words we use when we are in conversation with others demonstrates respect.  Saying please and thank you, I am sorry, excuse me – are all ways that we show that we see the other person and their feelings as valuable.  It shows others that we that we want them to feel that we appreciate them and their needs and wants.

It is not just about knowing and practicing what is expected socially.  Good manners and being fair must become a part of who we are as a person – if the respect is not just a show for others, but rather is who we are as a person.


Actions that show respect

respect loopDemonstrating respect by our actions or behavior is an important part of learning about respect.  Sometimes the mere repeated action of using a ‘manner’ that are acceptable in the society you live in, help to create a better attitude and way of treating others.  What are some the “acts” that we will demonstrate and teach to our children that look like respect?  Here is just one.

Helping others – When we help others it shows that they matter.  It may be by assisting with dinner prep, putting our clothes in the correct place, or carrying the groceries in.  In school we turn our assignments in on time and they are neat and legible.  It may be that our teacher would like us to clean up the room after an activity.  In our classes at Balanced Life Skills, helping others may be as simple as not talking while instruction is being given to actually helping others learn how to do a new skill.  When we help others we are showing that they and their time are important.  We show that the other persons needs and even their wants are important.

Demonstrating ‘helping others’ in our own life and encouraging doing the same with our children sets a culture, an expectation, that our children will see is a part of being in the family, school or community.  Life is not just about ourselves.  Seeing the needs of others and then helping them to the best of our ability is what “we do” as a family or school or community.  When we put that into action, when we feel that returned to us – respect is being cultivated.

Are there other actions you can think of that you think of when you think of respect?  What other actions show that you care?