RESPECT, Find Out What it Means To – Your Kids

So OK, I’m no Aretha Franklin, I can’t belt out this song. I don’t honestly even know all the words to it. But I know how to spell ‘respect’. And it’s something that I’ve had to re-teach my big kids recently. You know how you teach them something, and you think they should know it forever and every? But they don’t? Yeah, that’s us and the respect issue. Different issues seem to come up at different times, and this time, it’s respect’s turn.

I feel like at this point in our country, respect is sorely lacking. (HUGE generalization here) People don’t respect other people in authority, while people in authority aren’t respecting the people they have authority over. And it’s causing massive problems. So I need to do my part to make certain my children remember who they should respect (Everyone) and what that looks like, starting at home.

It all came to a head the other day. I was tired of being disrespected, and I realized that maybe they don’t know what respect looks like. I felt like I couldn’t go on any longer, so I researched a little online and then decided to just wing it. I pulled out a large piece of paper and a crayon so they could visual see what we were talking about. Something about writing it down make it seem so much more important. We discussed three different things.

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  • WHO we should respect. When I asked that question, my oldest said, “Everyone.” Which is true, but not very specific. I told them to start naming people, and I wrote them down. Police officers, fire fighters, mom and dad (yes!) siblings (yes again!) teachers, the President, God…They all made the list. So basically, everyone. But now we have a visual of different people that THEY suggested. That part is very important, for my kids anyway.

  • WHY we should respect these people. This one was a little harder, and it turned out to be the meat of the conversation. When I asked this question, I got blank faces. So then I asked “Why do we respect or honor God?” I got several different answers ranging from “Because He protects us” to “Because He provides for us.” Which, He does all the things they answered, but it’s not why we should respect Him. We should respect Him because we love Him, not because of anything He’s done for us. He could take it all away tomorrow and we should still respect Him. This caused some consternation among the bigs, as they hadn’t really considered that before. So when I related it to respecting your parents, and how it shouldn’t be based on what your parents do or don’t do, but based on your love for them, they were a little floored.

  • HOW we show respect to people. This was the final thought. “Obey” was the first thing mentioned, and then they added “right away.” I’m glad they mentioned it, because that’s been a big one for them, as for what they weren’t doing. Not yelling at siblings, sharing, and setting a good example all made the cut. They had a lot of ideas, actually.

I’m really hopeful that this will be a turning point for them. My 9 year old sensitive daughter wrote me a note apologizing for being disrespectful and my 11 year old son has washed the dishes and unloaded the dishwasher without me asking today. I think it’s more of a guilty thing, but I’m hoping it sticks. Respect is very important in our family, and somehow we let disrespect go on far too long.

I’m hoping you haven’t had this problem, but if you have, and have resolved it, what did you ┬ádo?

Picture the Bookroo logo and two children's picture books that we have shipped to customers in the past.

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