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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?


Respect is shown in our attitude and actions

respect loopRespect is the one word we hear the most from the needs of parents.  Parents want their children to show respect, to them the parents,  along with demonstrating respect for grandparents, teachers, other children and objects.  Teaching respect though is not as simple as sitting a child down and telling them “show respect!”

In our work at Balanced Life Skills we start using the word ‘respect’ at the very earliest times – as soon as a student comes into a class.  We learn to sit showing respect, raise our hand with respect, walking into class with respect and even when we bow as we come on to the mat – saying the word respect in our mind as we bow.

This is a hard word to define, because what we see as respectful is shown in attitude and action.  The attitude that is shown is that we value the person or object in front of us.  Being able to value the other person for their strengths and what is good about them, brings an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and therefore an appreciation that is shown with how we conduct ourselves with them.  The action – is of little value without the correct attitude.  So while we may need to ‘fake it till we make it’, actions or behavior without the proper attitude to go along with it really does not feel like respect.

The same would be true with an object.  We can show that we value (respect) a book by not tearing the pages, breaking the binding, putting it away carefully, reading it with joy.  We value the object, what it is giving us and the privilege of having such a gift.  That attitude of valuing the book allows for the actions of how we handle the book.

In our school at Balanced Life Skills we value the instructors, our classmates, the mat or dojo (where we are training), and ourselves.  We demonstrate that in many ways that we will talk about this month as we discuss respect in different parts of our lives.

The way children learn the attitude and actions of respect is by watching how others – parents, teachers, adults and even other children conduct themselves and speak to other people and objects.

Every relationship, interaction, class, and day should begin and end with respect.