The Role of Respect in Relationships

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Infant and toddler caregivers have a difficult task when it comes to building relationships with their students, communication. It is usually predetermined that infants and toddlers cannot speak, but do make sounds. However, this does not mean caregivers cannot communicate and build positive relationships with infants and toddlers. Infant development has often been described as transactional process (Sameroff, 1993). When infants smile at their caregiver and receiving a smile back is receiving positive reinforcement. In that situation, nonverbal communication is taking place, and both the caregiver and infant are actively building a relationship. Research has even suggested that infants have “preprogrammed” social and emotional abilities that invite and engage adult interaction (Kalmanson & Seligman, 1992).

Treating coworkers with respect is something everyone should strive for. Unfortunately, there are many barriers that individuals face daily at their place of work. Some individuals are jealous of someone because they know more than them which makes them feel insecure, and this prevents any chance of building a good working relationship. Thankfully, there are ways to overcome this barrier. Try confronting this individual and letting them know you do not appreciate the way they are treating you. Spending some time with an individual you do not always get along with can help to overcome the obstacle as well. I believe that for any relationship to be long-lasting, it must be built on respect and open and honest communication.

My position on respect is that it is earned, and not always deserving regardless of circumstances and accomplishments. As an early childhood educator, I demonstrate respect with my students by treating them the way I would like to be treated. I recognize that my students are young, and I respect the fact that they cannot accomplish every task on their own, but I will not allow myself to complete every task for them because that in turn would be disrespectful of me in my assumption of their individual capabilities. I respect that each individual child, coworker, and other adult are unique, and therefore must be respected and treated in a way that makes them feel valued, loved, and respected.

Demonstrating respect for students, their families, and each other is paramount for the success of the program and everyone involved. In regards to demonstrating respect for your coworkers, make sure to treat everyone equally regardless of their race, religion, gender, size, age, or country they were born. Building strong relationships with students is important, and can be accomplished by respecting each child as an individual with different thoughts, ideas, and behaviors. Demonstrating respect for parents and other members of our community accomplished by simply treating others with common courtesy, understanding, generosity, politeness, and love.

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