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Treating the people around him with respect is one of the most important lessons your child can learn.  Like many qualities, respect must be taught-and it begins at home.

Consider these ideas to encourage your middle grader to show consideration for others.

Be A Teacher
    Use opportunities to point out respectful behavior to your child.  Knocking before opening a closed door and remaining quiet while someone else is talking are two examples.  Likewise, when you hear somebody making fun of the way another person looks or speaks, don't ignore it.  Say to your child, "That was rude.  I'm sure it hurt their feelings."  Remind your middle grader that others will often treat him the way he treats them.

Be a Model
    Middle graders are quick studies when it comes to like.  What they see is what they learn.  If you deliberately embarrass our child in front of his friends or invade his privacy for no reason, he will get the idea that actions like these are acceptable.  If you treat him respectfully, he is apt to follow your lead.

Be A Guide
    Make it clear that harsh words and insults are never allowed.  When your middle grader loses his cool and behaves disrespectfully, suggest he take a break.  Tell him you'll listen to him when he calms down.  Letting him know that you won't tolerate disrespect provided the guidance he needs to change his behavior.
Source: Middle Years, © 2006 Resources for Educators, A division of Aspen Publisher, Inc.