The whole issue behind leaving a better planet for our children is teaching them to respect it. A simple example is garbage. It never ceases to amaze me how much garbage there is on the ground, in the woods, in the rivers, on our city streets or on our highways. I read a sign on the motorway that said, "take your garbage home". Something as simple as teaching your children to put their trash in the bin could save a planet from disaster. Just imagine if everyone put his or her garbage in the trash bin! I am always stunned at the amount of garbage that is left around after an event. The bottom line issue is respect, or the lack of it!
Respect means to show consideration for, avoiding intruding upon or to hold in honour and esteem. This must begin in the home and the sooner the better. When you hold someone in esteem or honour you place high value on him or her. When you esteem a person it carries with it a warm approval and affection.
Just like teaching our children to care for the planet, we need to teach them to respect people. They need to respect you, themselves and others. So, how can we begin this process?
Children will always want your attention and I mean right now. Have you ever asked why it is that every time you are on the phone that is exactly when they "need" you? As soon as you start a conversation with someone they want your attention. They may start calling you, tugging on your coat and probably getting louder while they are doing it. This is a demand for your attention and it is rude, not something you want to cater to. What can you do?
If your child comes to you and you are engaged in a conversation don't respond. What they are doing is intruding and they are not being considerate. So if they continue, keep your eyes fixed on the other person. You may even have to say to the other person to just keep talking to you. Then say to the person "excuse me" and direct your attention to the child telling them you are speaking and will be with them shortly. They will have to wait, and wait quietly. Don't shout at them but be frank and to the point.
Go back to your conversation but wrap it up quickly when first addressing this issue with your child. This is training. If your child starts to call you again ignore them and do what was stated before. Then get down to their eye level and discuss what interrupting means. Teach them to say, "Excuse me", and to wait. If they come again, just put your hand on them so they know you see them or hold a finger towards them but don't engage. If you persist with the training, all you will eventually have to do is hold your finger up and they will know you are busy and that means wait. What you are saying to the child without speaking is ‘no, not now I am busy’. It will take consistency and that means work but they will get it and believe me it is worth it!
Children are not born with an inherent ability to show respect, they learn it! Teach them to respect the environment but also teach them to respect you. If you do, we will have better people for our planet!