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Respect

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Developing a Pattern of Respect

Respect is the core of family relationships and harmony. A family is constantly changing and growing, if not in numbers of members, then in life experiences. Respect can be practiced in each new situation to establish and continue a pattern of respect among the family members.

Family members know when they are being respected, and they know when they are practicing respect in return. Sometimes the guidelines for respect are clear; they have been spoken out loud, shared, and demonstrated. Other times, these guidelines are silently in place to follow and to honor.

To develop a pattern of respect in the family, open communication should be present. Members should be honest, straightforward, and trustworthy with each other. If communication and trust occurs between family members on a regular basis, it makes establishing the family rules for respect much easier.

This also allows family members to ask questions about what is expected of them and to participate in setting those guidelines.

Family members may give each other permission to make mistakes or even to fail when trying to show respect. As family members grow, they learn to relate to each other differently. When someone in a family sees another member trying to practice respect--encouragement and praise should be given.

Respectful actions can be appreciated, recognized, welcomed, and supported. Each family member is unique and has his or her own style and personality. Together, families may celebrate respect for each other and for their family as a whole. Every situation is different and should be treated as a great chance to practice...to try again... and to establish the pattern of respect!

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