“Kids today are very disrespectful” is a common phrase I have heard a lot lately. Parents and teachers are very frustrated about this issue of respect. When children exhibit disrespectful behavior, they get into lots of conflicts and trouble and their ability to learn and absorb information is limited.
Respect is a very popular topic at home and at school. Most parents and teachers demand respect and by that, they do not understand that respect is earned and works like a mirror. When your behavior is disrespectful towards children, they will have no respect for you either.
During most of my school years and 30 years as an educator, I have seen how adults show children little or no respect. The movie “Matilda” was a wonderful, though exaggerated, way of showing how many adults treat children. It also showed teachers who were angels and treated kids with respect and love.
Respect and love are siblings
Respect and love are siblings. They are essential in every relationship. It is good to understand how they work in order to improve any relationship, including parenting and teaching children.
- Love and respect are like hugs. When you give you also receive.
- Love and respect start within us. To be able to love and respect others, we need to love and respect ourselves.
- Love and respect work like mirrors. What we project comes right back at us.
- There must be equality in love and respect. If you think one person deserves more than the other does, that is disrespectful.
- The more we demand love or respect, the more they disappears from our life.
Kindness is the antidote for disrespectful behavior
Sadly, I do not believe that disrespectful behavior is so popular because of kids’ use of smart phones or social media. Parents and teachers have too many excuses for why things are not the way they want them to be and they blame the kids for it.
Too many parents and teachers feel that they are more important than the children are. They use this feeling to justify their own disrespectful behavior and ignore the connection between how they behave and how the kids treat them in return.
The solution for disrespectful behavior is kindness. Give it and you shall receive it:
- Be kind with your time: listen.
- Be kind with your opinion: practice acceptance.
- Be kind with words: compliment and encourage.
- Be kind with your skills: help out.
- Be kind with your thoughts: do not judge or criticize.
- Be kind with your actions: comfort others and be polite.
Sometimes, when I see parents and teachers behaving in a disrespectful way towards children, I wish I had a camera to show them how they look to someone from the outside. If those people could only see themselves in the camera, they would understand how disrespectful they were.
Recently, I saw a video that does this beautifully – showing teachers how they behave. Please watch and share what you think in the comment section below.
Remember, respectful parents and teachers raise respectful children,