Is it my imagination or are parents no longer teaching their children respect for their teachers, adult relatives, friends and neighbors?
I listened to a pre-teen this morning tell an elderly neighbor “Put a sock in it, old man!” I think that if those words had come out of my mouth twenty years ago, there would soap in it five minutes later. I would have been grounded until college and I am not that old either, I am in my early thirties. I was about to march over to the parents of that child until I heard my nine year old say “That was not a nice thing to say to a man that old. I would never do that.” Then, it occurred to me in five seconds flat that I would be wrong if I marched up to the child’s parents and put my nose where it did not belong. Maybe, I still hold on to the teachings of my parents about respecting my elders and I was passing that along to my children, but who was I to judge what other people taught their children? Perhaps, my old-fashioned upbringing wasn’t something other people my age were brought up in, or perhaps, they just did not feel the need to teach their children “respect.”
I understand that respect is earned and something we do not automatically hand to people. On the other hand, when I grew up, you always respected your elders, your parents, people in positions higher than yours, your supervisor, manger, religious figures, and plain ordinary people you deal with everyday – right or wrong – you respected people.
Well, that type of respect is not the norm these days and it is long gone. Is it my imagination or have we gotten ignorant, selfish, and irresponsible in raising our children with these morals or even having them ourselves? And when we mention that these morals out the window, we hear things like “things are different these days” or “times have changed.” Just because times have changed or things are different, should we stop respecting each other? Should we not teach our children to respect others or set examples for them to follow?
When was the last time you saw a teenager give up their seat for an elderly person or a pregnant woman? Is it my imagination or is this a dog-eat-dog world? What kind of a society have we become when we allow young people not to respect their teachers and elders? Respect does not go out of style, but what has happened? I am not just talking about one teenager; I am talking about the majority.
Today’s children and teens talk back, argue, are demanding and non-apologetic and we are blaming this on an evolving society. What’s worse is that adults (teachers in particular) are not entitled to demand respect; they are required to be friends with today’s youth in order to gain respect. We respected our parents, teachers, other adults, etc. and we turned out just fine so I can’t see any reason why today’s youth shouldn’t be taught to respect.
What happened to good, old-fashioned respect? It looks like it has gone out the window! Is it just me or am I just being hot-headed?