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.
Sheffield School Parent and Community Information Session
Sheffield School, Tasmania has been working on their school values and mission which are strongly underpinned by the notion of respect. The school is continuing to expand this work by implementing a whole school approach to Respectful Relationships Education.
On the 24 October 2017 Sheffield School hosted a Parent and Community Information session to share information about Respectful Relationships Education and to take a look at some of the lessons that will be delivered as part of this program. There was an opportunity for parents to ask questions of school staff and the writers of the Respectful Relationships Education modules.
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 Stop it at the Start campaign, a joint Australian, state and territory government initiative, which aims to help families and communities to build respectful relationships.
The following video is a 60 second television commercial challenging some of the gender stereotypes we often experience. We might be surprised that saying thigs like ‘it’s OK, he just did it because he likes you’ and ‘boys will be boys’ excuses this behaviour in the minds of young people. It can be easy to make these excuses without even realising that we do it.
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 understandings 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 and addresses the full spectrum of childhood from birth through to Year 12.
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, understandings 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.
- Download the Respectful Relationships Early Years Teaching and Learning Package (PDF, 7MB)
- Download the Respectful Relationships Teaching and Learning Package: Foundation – Year 6 (PDF, 11MB)
- Download the Respectful Relationships Teaching and Learning Package: Years 7 – 12 (PDF, 27MB)
How can parents and 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)