Dinner Topics for Thursday
Part 1: By Objective (Be sure to check out the good ideas here)Parenting Value: Respect
Respect for life, for property, for parents, for elders, for nature, and for the beliefs and rights of others. Courtesy, politeness, and manners. Self-respect and the avoidance of self-criticism.
Sample Method for Preschoolers:
The Red and Black Marks Chart
This exercise can help preschool children “keep track” and count incidents of respect and disrespect. Prepare a simple chart with the child’s (or children’s) name(s) on it. Explain that whenever he does something that shows disrespect (yells at Mom, interrupts, demands something without saying please, etc.) he will get a black mark. Whenever he is polite or uses good manners, he gets a red mark. Divide the chart by days and tell the child to see if he can get more red marks than black each day.
Sample Method for Elementary Age:
“Who and How” Chart
This helps elementary age children plan to be respectful. Set up a chart, perhaps on a large poster board, looking something like this:
Using the left-hand column, ask children to list the categories of people and things that deserve respect. As you list them one at a time, discuss how respect for that person or thing can be effectively given. (E.g., for “Mother”: by “answering respectfully,” “by obeying her,” “showing appreciation for what she does,” “opening door,” “holding her chair,” etc. For “Nature”: by “preserving and protecting,” “clearing and cultivating,” etc. For “Self”: by “avoiding self-criticism,” “thinking about positive attributes,” etc.) Keep the list building as long as you can keep children’s interest.
Sample Method for Adolescent Age:
The “What Does it Lead to” Game
This game can help adolescent and late-elementary-age children see the ramifications of respect and of its opposite. Do an arrow diagram on a chart or blackboard. Start with respect and rudeness and then let the children think of words that they lead to.
Rudeness –>selfishness –>enemies –>anger
Respect –>kindness –>friendliness –>understanding