Thursday, February 28, 2013

Respect {Think About It]

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me
~Respect, Aretha Franklin

Today I want to touch on a very serious subject - Respect.  Or, more specifically the lack of respect.

What is happening to our youth? Why is there such a lack of respect?  If a teacher tells you to do something, you do it. You don't mouth off, and try to bring them down. When a parent tells you "no" you don't beg and whine and complain until they give in.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of behavior that seems to have become prevalent in today's society. It goes hand in hand with the sense of entitlement that is also running rampant through society.  So how can we combat disrespect and entitlement?  Like most problems we encounter, the solution can usually be found in the home.

Think About It!

Some of the first words we try to teach our kids - after mama and Dada - are Please and Thank You.  Even before they were talking I try to teach the sign for please. When we are polite, we are showing respect. We are telling them we respect them as another human being, whether we like them or not.

So parents - it starts at home. If you don't teach respect, they won't learn it anywhere else. How can you teach respect?  My absolute favorite way of teaching is by example.
Let's imagine for a moment....

You've gone out to dinner with your family. After ordering drinks for 5, appetizers, and 5 different special orders, you enjoy a moment for your food to come out. But when it does, your steak is overcooked, and the onions were left on your picky childs burger. You get the waiters attention, and chew them out for not listening. You start telling them they must be stupid because everyone knows what a medium rare is, and this is not medium rare. Can't they get anything right?
 
OR
 
You thank them for your meal. You scrape the onions off your childs burger, and set them aside. Your medium well steak really isn't that horrible - or you could kindly ask for a new steak, using words like Please and Thank You.
 
 
Have you ever been in this situation? Maybe you've seen someone else act out at a restaurant. Yes, it's the waiters job to get your order right, but they are human. Let's start respecting that simple fact. We are all human, and we will all make mistakes. When we respect each other under that simple notion, life would be a lot better.
 
Let's go back to my example. What are you teaching your child when you put that waiter down? What are you teaching them, if you just roll with it? Or if you use polite words?  I think we all know the answers here.
 
Think About It!
 
Awhile ago, I had a good sit down talk with the Princesses. I was noticing a lot of disrespect in our house. It didn't matter what I would ask them, I was met with fighting, whining, and tears. Excuses were given left and right. My oldest also began talking to me with what I call a rude voice - or very sassy.
One day, I had had enough. I don't like rudeness, and her tone of voice really set my nerves on fire, to the point I would be rude back. I definitely wasn't teaching respect in those moments. So we changed. I told my girls that I love them. That I want them to be happy, and I want to be happy. When we work together, when we listen to each other, we can all be happy. I told them if they would listen to me, I would listen to them. Princess V does not like to be called rude. She knows it's not a good thing to be. So when she is acting rude, I tell her. She gets a little defensive first, but soon will change her attitude and apologize. She then tries talking to me again, with respect.
 
Think About It!
 
So onto this other topic I mentioned of entitlement. How many kids do you see running around being given everything they want? They don't have to work hard for it, let alone work at all. They yell - you owe it to us, it's rightfully ours.
These thoughts are bred from lack of respect. Believing that you are entitled to anything you haven't personally worked for, shows lack of respect for our elders, parents, teachers, public service workers, etc.
 
I think I'll stop there, before I pound too much of my thoughts out. I'd love to hear how you feel about Respect. Do you think kids are lacking in this area? How do you teach your children about respect?


1 comment:

  1. Tired overworked parents don't seem to have the same expectations for their children's behavior as in the past. Teaching respect requires diligence and consistency... continually modeling and correcting behavior. it's hard work. It doesn't just happen... and the results ebb and flow. My kids are in their early teens now their behavior is all over the place. They know how they should behave but they are testing their boundaries... it's hard work but I think it is one of the most important things to teach a child.

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