If your child witnesses another child behaving badly toward a parent, teacher, passerby or friend, it's important to take that moment as an opportunity to teach the right behavior to your child.
This is known as a teachable moment, when you turn the negative into a positive and help your child see the problem and learn to not follow the example.
It's also important to use this technique if your own child does something that you feel is unkind, rude, or inappropriate.
Parents are their children's primary teachers throughout their lives; it's up to parents to show kids the way to becoming good adults.
More and more frequently we're exposed to rudeness, meanness and aggression by the people in our daily lives and in the media.
We have a choice to make about whether our kids become swept up in that mainstream of ugly behavior or learn to resist and follow a better, more respectful path. Our kids need us to show them how to do the right thing ... despite what's going on all around them.
Moreover, if our own kids get smart-mouthed or do something that's mean, we need to correct that behavior quickly, in a way that is positive and not demeaning or harsh, but firm and loving.
The better job we do as adults in managing our feelings and modeling good behavior the more effective and successful we will be as parents and teachers for our kids. Teaching peaceful responses and behaviors isn't hard, and it's important.
If you need to repeat and reinforce lessons several times a day, or even for several months, that's okay. They're worth repeating and will, over time, replace the offensive behaviors. Be consistent and strive to demonstrate the qualities you want from your child in your own actions - give peace a chance.