Children learn to respect adult authority by respecting their parents and their parents respecting their children. Children who are disrespectful to their teachers are disrespectful to their parents, and their parents are disrespectful to their children. Respect starts by giving and receiving respect from both parties. Parents who brow beat, verbally abuse, physically abuse, and use expletives when relating to their children will most likely produce disrespectful children who will not respect authority.
During my 30-year tenure as a marriage and family therapist, I have experienced and counseled families who were having behavioral problems. These behavioral problems were a direct result of parent and child mutual disrespect for each other. Most parents and teachers can correct the syndrome of disrespect by always being respectful to children. Parents and teachers seem to forget that the children they encounter or have to relate to are adult people in small bodies. These are human beings who have feelings, and those feelings can be hurt. When adults hurt children’s feelings and disrespect them, they create children who will dislike and not trust any adults. Thus, parents and teachers will produce children who will have a justified reason to disrespect their teachers.
Now the question begs a planned response, How to Teach your Child to Respect Their Teacher. The parents’ first step to produce children who will respect their teachers is: 1. The parents must teach respect by showing respect to their children from birth to adulthood. Children mimic their parents’ acts of love and respect; 2. Parents must teach their children that when they enter school they will have a teacher who will act as their surrogate parent for several hours, and they must give their teachers the same respect as they give the parent at home; 3. Parents must meet with the teacher to establish mutual respect with the teacher and child; 4. The parent must tell the teacher how to teach their child with respect, because every child will not respond the same to the commands and language of their teacher; 5. Parents must stay in contact with the teacher to make sure their contract of mutual is still working, and to see if they should make any changes in the teacher/child relationship. This plan will forge a mutual respect between the teacher, parent and child that will not only last throughout the school year, but throughout that child’s academic as well as their secular life.
I have found that the above steps to teach your child to respect the teacher have worked for many parents I have counseled and helped through my years as a therapist, and they have personally helped me during my child-rearing years.