As parents you want the best for your children. You want them to have positive experiences, healthy relationships and opportunities to learn. You want them to understand right and wrong. You want them to respect others, respect themselves and be respected.
Parents, in partnership with schools, play a key role in teaching children about respect and respectful relationships.
- A brief summary of Respectful Relationships Education is available as a fact sheet on the Department for Education, Children, and Young People website.
Why Respectful Relationships Education is important for your family
Schools are where children learn how to interact with others and work together in a respectful way. Schools model respectful relationships and can help students to understand that no one should be disrespected or abused.
Respectful Relationships Education supports families and communities to ensure students understand how to interact positively with others and to develop respectful relationships as they grow and become adults themselves.
As parents, and as influencers of young people, we want the best for our children and young people. We want them to experience healthy and positive relationships, to respect others and themselves and have opportunities to learn.
From a young age, boys and girls start to believe there are reasons and situations that make disrespectful behaviour acceptable. It is seemingly innocent remarks to young people that can often be misinterpreted as condoning or excusing disrespectful or violent behaviour.
The Bring Up Respect campaign, a joint Australian, state and territory government initiative, aims to help families and communities to build respectful relationships.
We do our best to set a good example, but sometimes, without meaning to, we might say things that excuse disrespectful behaviour in young people.
It’s important we understand the cycle of violence. Not all disrespect towards women results in violence. But all violence against women starts with disrespectful behaviour.
This video from VicHealth presents some of the prevailing community attitudes about the roles of men and women in society.
The following resources further explore some of these attitudes and remarks and how they can be interpreted by young people. The ‘Respect Checklist’ (PDF, 2MB) shows a range of views from girls and boys about respect. It will give you a picture of what your son or daughter might believe, and how they could react to disrespectful behaviour.
What is Respectful Relationships Education?
Respectful Relationships Education focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and understanding students need to interact positively and respectfully with people across a wide range of social situations. It also includes exploring, building and promoting gender equity in relationships and challenging gender stereotypes to ensure that all relationships are based on mutual respect.
The Tasmanian Government’s response to the issue of family violence within school settings is unique in the Australian context.
Unpacking the Respectful Relationships Education materials
The Respectful Relationships Education teaching package focuses on utilising developmentally appropriate teaching and learning activities.
Tasmanian education also recognises the importance of the learning that occurs prior to school and aims to partner with parents to develop the early skills to nurture positive relationships within the family unit.
The teaching and learning package takes a broad focus on developing the skills, understanding and capacities of all students to ensure they can:
- recognise and maintain respectful relationships within their personal interactions
- recognise and respond to situations where their own or others’ relationships may not be respectful
- empower students to act and advocate within their community to promote respect for all.
How can parents and the community support Respectful Relationships Education?
As parents you never know when a situation might come up for a conversation with your child about respect. It could be a proactive, preventative conversation, or it could be that you’ve seen an incident that needs addressing. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s a conversation worth having. Every time you speak out against disrespectful behaviour, we’re one step closer to creating a more respectful society.
Respect.gov.au has published a guide can you help you start the conversation.
Download the Conversation Guide (PDF, 16.7MB)