The golden rule states, “Do unto others as you would have them to unto you.” In other words,
respect and treat others the way you want to be treated. That’s easier said than done at the
ages of 4-5.

Ask your child, “how do you want people to treat you? Do you want your brother to play the
game you want to play? Do you want them to share their fun toys with you?” Once they respond
tell your child, “It sounds like you want to be treated fairly and nice, like me and everyone in this

If you want them to be like that with you, you should show them the same respect. This applies
to friendships, family and everyone else in your life. Treat your friends the way you want to be
treated. Sometimes they need to be reminded or physically see it in real time for it to resonate.

You do so much for them that can go unnoticed by them at this age, and it is ok to point out
some of the things you are doing for them. However, it’s important to not make it a habit or ever
hold it over their heads because that could lead to them harboring resentment towards you. You
may not receive the reaction you want, but they will hear you. It can really spark the lightbulb in
their minds if they’re reminded of this occasionally. For example, if they’re hungry when they
wake up in the morning, acknowledge that you care about and respect the child and are making
breakfast because you care. Another example is when they’re reaching for an item, yet they
aren’t tall enough to reach that item. You could say, “It looks like you need my help. I care about
you and respect you, so I like to do things that will help you. It makes me happy when you’re
happy. Would you like me to grab that for you?”

They are children and obviously can take things for granted, and they more than likely will until
they are out of the house on their own. However, it doesn’t hurt to occasionally explain how you
feel or how something they do makes you feel (this humanizes you). Speak to them at eye-
level. This often makes things less intimidating. They can see your eyes better and can notice
emotions in your face more. Remind them you do all of this for them because you love, respect
and care about them, and you wish to be treated the same.

Here is a cute Sesame Street video on Respect: Sesame Street Respect Video 5mins

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