At a program I hosted for teenagers on “Goals”, I asked if anyone had goals they wanted to share with the class. A boy of about 14 or 15 put up his hands and as nicely as he could muster, said, “Aunty, my goal is to get out of this class as quickly as possible”. Note that this was just the beginning of the program so trust me it wasn’t that we had bored him to frustration. He was probably reacting to the fact that his parents asked him to attend the program when he had “better” things to do!
I’d like us to discuss this TTV (Time Tested Value) of RESPECT (or the lack of it as the case may be). It’s not always that lack of respect shows up as blatant acts of rudeness. These days it has snuck in in less obvious ways like back talking; rolling of the eyes; name calling; not answering when you’re being spoken to; yelling… and these disrespectful attitudes have almost become the norm, because rather than address them for what they are, we overlook it as – confidence, a joke or cute.
Parents – there is nothing cute about rudeness! We must remember that the world may not be so kind about some of those disrespectful attitudes we overlook in our children. I want us to stop and ask our self “how would I react if my staff (someone’s child) kept clicking away on his / her cell phone when I was talking to him / her?” Chances are you probably will give them a good talking to. So how come when it comes to our kids we choose to look through rose-tinted glasses?
We should encourage our children to show respect for places, things, themselves and other people. Allow me to stretch the point about respect for other people just a bit more. It’s important that we teach our children to respect all people irrespective of status, financial standing, age or color. For instance, we unconsciously encourage our children to be disrespectful to domestic helps by turning a blind eye!
When it comes to parenting, the “Do as I Do” method has an incredible impact on our children. Tough love – as the occasion demands is another effective method. So, to help us effectively teach the lesson of respect, let’s carry out a quick self-audit – If my children were to “Do as I Do” in the Respect department, what grades will they make? Hmm! Simply by making the necessary adjustments, we would have unconsciously started the lesson.
Watch out for our next post and remember I would like to hear your views. To be a part of this discussion and for other interesting and insightful parenting tips and gist, please follow our blog – www.parentinvestment.com, invite your friends, send us your comments & contributions and let’s join hands to make the necessary parenting investments that would continue to yield positive returns in our children’s lives.