Parents everywhere want their kids to respect themselves. If you're one of those parents, keep reading. In this article you'll find a method for teaching self-respect. Use it today. It works great in family meetings.

The Key to Self-Respect

There is a key to self-respect and it isn't magic. The key is choice. The choices we make will open or close the door to our self-respect. Here's what I mean.

1. Larry ate the last cookie and lied to keep out of trouble.

2. Thelma steals her friend's toy to feel happy.

3. Angie gossips to seem important.

The choices these kids made closed the door to their self-respect. They need parents who will teach them how to open the door.

So what can you do?

How “STOP” Helps You Teach Your Kids Self-Respect

S means STOP! Look at what you said or did.

T means Think. Ask, 'What should I have done?'

O means Options. What were and are my options (choices)?

P means Pick. Pick one of the choices.

Let's Look at Larry, Thelma, and Angie's Options:

1. Larry could have left the last cookie alone, ate the last cookie, or asked his mom if he could have the last cookie. Now his options are to admit or not admit he ate the last cookie.

2. Thelma could have left the toy alone, taken the toy, or asked if she could play with the toy. Now Thelma's options are to, keep the toy and say nothing, lie about taking the toy, or give it back.

3. Angie could have kept quiet, said something nice, or gossiped. Now her options are to deny she gossiped or apologize.

How Picking Healthy Choices Opens the Door to Self-Respect

1. Larry could respect himself if he says, “I took the last cookie. I'm sorry I didn't tell the truth.”

2. Thelma might say, “I took your toy. Here it is. I'm sorry I took it.”

3. Angie could say, “I'm sorry I said those things about you. I won't say them again.”

Making things better means making courageous choices. It's not easy to admit doing wrong. By admitting their behavior, Larry, Thelma, and Angie have opened the door to respecting themselves.

How to Increase Your Kids' Self-Respect with “STOP”

Start early with this method. Even 7-year-olds will understand.

In big letters write down STOP and explain each letter. Then take each letter and role play it by having your child pretend to be Larry first, Thelma second, and Angie third.

When done role playing, ask, “Do you have any questions?”
Next ask your child to make a STOP sign for the refrigerator. This will be a reminder for everyone in your family to use it.

If your child does something wrong, reinforce STOP by going through each letter. Role-play it and praise your child for role playing. Then encourage him to use it in the real situation. After using STOP, give a kiss, a hug, or words of encouragement. This will increase self-respect too.

A Word of Caution about Shame:

Avoid heaping shame on your child's shoulders. Shame makes it less likely your child will admit to future mistakes. Shame makes kids feel bad about themselves and locks out self-respect.

Practicing the “STOP Method” is much healthier.

Conclusion for Teaching Kids Healthy Self-Respect

Kids need to know all people make mistakes. A person of character will fix their mistakes. They'll respect themselves for it too. You can easily teach this method in your family meetings. Give the gift of self-respect to your child. Use this “Stop Method” today.

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tracy, MSS, invites you to receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids when you sign up for her parenting newsletter at

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