As parents the one thing we always drill in our children’s heads is that they should respect not only us but their elders. We teach them this through many different ways. I was taught the same thing as a child that I have to respect my elders. So of course we want our children to learn the same thing. We let them know that in no uncertain terms that disrespect from them will not be tolerated ever.
I do think that as parents sometimes we forget to teach ourselves to respect our children. I can admit I have been guilty of being rude and disrespectful to my children at times. Even though most times it isn’t intentional. I just saw myself as the parent and felt that as their parent I have the authority to say what I felt I needed to say to get my point across no matter how I said it. I know what you’re thinking “aren’t you the same person who complains about anyone showing the slightest disrespect to you”. Sadly yes that’s me. Now that I think about it I can admit that on occasion I have been a borderline bully. My kids never brought it up to me until in recent conversations over the years. This is one of the reasons they sometimes felt as if they couldn’t talk to me. Even though I would tell them hey you can come talk to me about anything. Because they didn’t know how I would react they didn’t feel comfortable doing it. I can totally relate with that cause I have avoided many conversations for that same reason. I tell my children to stand up to bullies and sometimes even on occasion now I am their biggest bully. It kind of saddens my l me that my kids didn’t feel like they had as much voice. That is the one thing i wanted my kids to have. I wanted them to feel comfortable enough to have a voice. Now they had them in some ways but not in others. Like my daughter was adamant that she didn’t like hair bows but would wear them when I showed her to on occasion. My son was able to tell us when he was ready to cut his hair. They were both allowed to say they didn’t like certain foods after trying them. Those are just some samples. I’m not going to lie though I wish they had more. My daughter asked me in a recent conversation why do parents feel that they can disrespect their children but get mad when the children are disrespectful back. At the time I honestly couldn’t answer that question. I told her that I think sometimes parents forget to see their kids as people who need respect. We just want to mold them into respectful humans. I did again tell her that disrespect is wrong no matter who it is.
It took me a long time to realize that I could speak up to my elders or people in power when I felt they were being rude and disrespectful to me. I was always afraid of the response I would get because you know you are suppose to respect your elders and then people in power such as your employer basically hold your life in their hands. I soon came to realize though that most times it came down to how you said rather than what you were saying. But also sometimes no matter how you say things prior are going to react however they see fit. So I had to learn to let go of trying to control their reaction and their response. I think the main thing people need to realize though is age is nothing but a number and no matter how old you are if you’re going to disrespect someone you can’t expect to not get some kind of response even if you don’t like it. I also learned that some people can dish but can’t take it. As soon as you match their energy you are all sorts of wrong and they are done with you. Cause it’s how dare you think you can disrespect them in the same manner they are doing you. They can say whatever they want about you but you better not dare tell them about themselves cause once you do there is a price to pay.
Since my kids have started opening up to me more I’m really trying to be more of a listener than a reactor. Cause if I want them to feel comfortable talking to me and know that I’m willing to work on myself for their sake and mine. I know that I can’t keep coming at them with the same energy and expect them to take it because I won’t take it from them. I also know that sometimes there will be moments that they just might blow up out of pure frustration and that they are entitled to those moments as well just as well as I am. I will try not to take those moments to heart especially if we can come back to what is important. I’m working on being more mindful of my children’s feelings. Having these discussions I’m hoping is really going to improve my relationship with my kids. I’m always willing and open to learn something new. Especially with them.