Ask anyone (kids to adults) and I’m pretty confident all will agree that respect is important. The problem arises when you start asking what that means. So many people have a really skewed version and understanding of this.
A good example of this is the parent who feels that they do not have to use please or thank you with their children. I actually have had parents say this to me. After all they say, I’m the parent! Manners are one way we show respect to other people. In the same way a lack of manners shows disrespect. It is the same no matter who you are showing or not showing it too..age or relationship doesn’t matter. Respect is respect is respect! It feeds on itself, as does dis-repsect.
How can a parent demand respect but at the same time refuse to do the same for the ones they most care about? What exactly are they hoping to teach their children here?
These parents are not creating a respectful dynamic within their family. The are relying on the “fear of the parent” to create a feeling of power. Not the same as respect at all; and certainly not going to last.
Another area I’ve seen this confusion heightened is in teens. The really get this one wrong. They often rely on social ranking to decide who is deserving of respect. Unfortunately, fear is often used as a means to get and maintain a spot at the top of the high school food chain.
Gang members often talk strongly about making others ‘respect’ them or else. Again, they are mixing up respect and fear. Threats don’t get you respect! Forcing someone to respect you at gunpoint is not being respected; period.
The bottom line is as a society we seem to be getting a lot of confusion about this topic. You want respect? You have to do two things. First, live in a way that is worthy of being respected and second, you have to give respect to other people.
There’s that Golden Rule again!