They say formative years of a persons life are the most important in terms of learning. Well, in my 30s, I can say I am still learning and unlearning and I will continue to do it, even when I am wrinkled with a back that gives up way too soon. But when you are a child, it is easier to learn things since we arent set in our ways, we dont have apprehensions and preconceived notions. We focus so much on achieving great heights in education and work but personal growth is often underestimated by many. So, while we focus on raising our kids to be successful individuals in terms of career and finances, we must also ensure they become good people with kindness and respect in their hearts. Respect is one thing that shows less about the person its given to but more about the person giving it. If you give someone less respect because they are not as privileged as you, then it reflects badly on you, not them. And we have to teach our children to be dignified, humane and kind to those who may not have the same luxuries, or even basic necessities like we do. Education and learning go beyond Maths or History, it is about the all-round development of a person. And as parents, its important to give your child the opportunity to learn to be respectful to those less privileged than them. Why its important for your child to understand povertyWhen I was in school, kids sometimes, would end up treating girls who were not as financially well-off as them, differently. Socialising and being included for these girls would become difficult and it would hurt their self-esteem. Of course, those kids didnt know any better, but while it is easier for them to shake off the guild today, it wont be that easy for the kids who felt ostracised to snap out of the blow to their self-worth. Often, very innocently, you will hear a child ask things like why is that lady wearing such an old saree or why that kid carries such an old backpack to school. They may end up showing off their privilege to a child who has none.A child must be respectful to the less privileged, firstly, because that will develop their character and values. Secondly, it will save the trauma other kids who come from poorer backgrounds and make them feel included. It will also help your child be more socially aware and develop a more philanthropic attitude as they grow up. Heres how you can educate your children to be respectful to the less privilegedBe age appropriate When it comes to educating your child about poverty and their privilege, it is essential to make the conversation age-friendly. If you go into too many details and give graphic descriptions, it may end up scarring your child. They are not psychologically strong enough to be able to witness things of such tragic nature. This is why, when you talk to your children about poverty, make sure you speak in a manner that censors details that can make them scared or anxious. You should also talk about those less privileged closer to home, so they find it easier to grasp. Be ready to deal with their emotional reactions While all children are more sensitive than adults, some are even more so. Some children may have extreme emotional reactions when they hear or witness what the lack of money means for so many people. It may trigger outbursts, and make them feel deeply saddened or feel cynical about the world around them. It may even make them scared about growing up or guilty about having privilege. You will have to be ready and sensitive to their emotional reactions and be there to soothe them. As parents, you will have to offer them the space to be vulnerable and expressive about their feelings and help them feel better. If left unchecked, these emotions can leave a negative impact on a childs mind. Let them know you are here to answer their questions and clear their doubts. Empower them to make a difference Children who volunteer for good causes grow up to show empathetic leadership skills, caring attitude and reliability. Educating your child about being respectful to the less privileged is not enough; they should also grow to be responsible and active citizens of society. In their own little ways, empower them to make a difference. Be it encouraging them to donate their toys and clothes or volunteering for a good causehelp them help. Help them see kindness as sharing and not as a feeling of superiorityTeach your child to share their privilege with others who lack those resources. Say, if you can afford to sponsor the books of your domestic helps child or if your child can offer to donate their toys to them, it is a good deed. But in that, your child should know that it is their social responsibility to share their privilege. It should be out of kindness and not a sense of feeling superior to those they are sharing with. Tell them that even if someone makes very little money, they are still working hard to provide for their families and deserve respect. Lead by exampleChildren tend to imitate their parents behaviour. If you teach your child to be respectful to the less privileged and you end up not inculcating it in your own actions, it will be a failed mission. You have to respect the labour you hire for assisting you in your tasks. You have to respect the servers in restaurants and not act entitled for having more money than others. In fact, you have to show equal respect to someone has more money than you and someone who has less. This, so your child can learn that respect does not depend on how much money a person has.