Don’t forget Respect

Because I said so……………..

How many times have you used that phrase? I know I use it. Here are my reasons why.

I don’t have to explain myself every time I ask a child to do something. I explain it when it’s required. I’m the parent and I make the rules and decisions, some of them are non negotiable. I refuse to argue with my children. If it’s something that is important then I will listen to what they have to say, as they get older it is important for them to have a voice. I am not always right but I try to be fair and honest in all areas of my life. Respect is something to be earned and by trying to always be honest and fair I hope to teach my children in a way they can learn how to respect someone and in turn how to gain respect.

Parenting styles in general have become less strict over the last 2 decades, kids get away with more and parents try to be friends with their children, therefore losing their respect.   There’s an old saying “Children should be seen and not heard”. I don’t agree with that but they do have to learn their place and it’s not being in charge. You can’t lead by authority if you let your children walk all over you.We all have people we look up to and respect. Think of those people and what it is about them that you respect in them. Instilling that same thing in your children is something to strive toward. But how.

I have found myself in ever increasing situations with children (not my own) where I’m having an argument with them. I have to remind myself to stop.
Children will stand toe to toe with you and talk back like you’re a piece of dirt! I witness, on a regular basis, teachers being treated this way and other parents as well. There are no  real consequences for actions anymore. Kids can be disrespectful in class and the teacher really has to put up with it. It’s not like the old days. I’m not saying corporal punishment was a good thing because it was open to abuse by sadistic people but there was a certain fear. If you were sent to the principal’s officeat school you knew you were in trouble. You behaved appropriately for fear of the punishment. What are the consequences these days? Time out, in school suspension or even none. Some parents when called to school to discuss a child’s bad behaviour are often on the child’s side, even when that child has done the wrong thing.

I believe in what’s right and I defend my children vehemently but if they’re wrong then they must accept the consequences. They must right the wrong and apologise to the wronged person, child or adult. I will not let them stand behind me unpunished. Though parents do. Their child can do no wrong, when often the child is a little turd 🙂  Honour and respect are gone. People care only for themselves and they’re passing that lack of respect for others onto their children.

There are plenty of reasons respect has been diluted for authoritative figures, police, politicians, doctors etc. Unfortunately having a good reputation, being honest, decent and kind have gone by the wayside and corruption and money grubbing and self interest have taken over. The few ruin it for the many who are decent and honest. The “It’s all about ME” generation are loud and proud. So many people only ever think about themselves and how they feel and never stop to consider their actions maybe be rude or offensive and others know and just don’t care. It makes me sad. It makes me mad.

When we allow our children to disrespect us, the people they trust the most and learn their first lessons from, then we set them up for a future of selfishness and disrespect of people, property and authority.

Our job as parents is to raise strong, healthy, happy, honest  adults who can contribute to society in a positive way. Respect for themselves and others is something that I believe is a very important attribute of a well rounded person.

Children learn from watching us, probably more than us teaching them. If we can conduct our lives in positive ways of honesty, integrity and compassion they see that. If we’re rude, short tempered, disrespectful, then they’re going to learn that from us too. It’s a delicate balance and difficult at times but overall a worthwhile one.

I am just one person and I fail sometimes but I try hard to live right, respecting those around me and myself. I hope for the same in return. If everyone did that imagine how nice the world would be.

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