definition, thoughts, Word of the Day

Respect

Written 3/24/13
{I have a lot of time to think these days. And lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about respect. Mostly respect and how it plays a major role in every relationship that we have. I’ve always realized, even before becoming a mom, that respect was very important to a child’s development. So, as I’ve been observing all of these new communities that I’m apart of, I realize that their perspective of respecting children and their needs resonates with me on all levels. However, I am also noticing the flaws in their logic as well. It may take me a bit longer to actually figure out exactly how to implement my ideal parenting principles, but as of now, I know respect will definitely be a key factor.

Okay, I know there are questions on what I consider to be flaws. But, instead of calling out specifics and having to cite and remember all of my observations, I figure it would just be easier for me to explain my views on respect and how it works in various relationships.

I respect my husband, my husband respects me. So, this mutual respect allows us to trust one another and in my opinion truly love one another. On a side note, I don’t really feel you can love someone you don’t trust. I feel there should be another word for that connection. Anyway, because I respect my husband, as well as trust him, I don’t spend my days worrying about who he’s texting, why he’s so late coming home from work, or even why he has so many female friends. Of course if there is an issue that we need to discuss, I find myself addressing him like a human being and not feeling the need to insult him or his man hood to make my point. Now, I’m not saying we don’t argue or disagree, my point is that we treat each other as equals and accept that we may not agree and try to come to a solution. It’s not always rainbows and butterfly kisses, but I’ve never experienced an argument where I was left to feel degraded or disrespected. Also, when it comes to parenting, although we mostly agree, we usually end up having an open dialogue about the choices we would like to make. Yes, my child is still young and the decisions tend to get a bit trickier the older they get, but that overall respect that we share should help us to come to an agreement.

I’m going to be very general and vague when it comes to respect and parenting. There’s not enough time for anyone to sort out my mess for me to get into any specifics. So, here’s my observation. As parents, we want our children to respect us and obey us, right? I don’t care what your overall parenting philosophy is, but none the less, you do prefer a child who listens. I’ve never heard of someone wanting their child to ignore them or disregard them. However, I’ve observed parents having children who do these things. Hell, I’ve been a child that has been disrespectful. But, what I wonder is, how do those parents think their child will learn respect if they’re not shown it? Now, of course we can teach our children manners, but we can’t just expect them to understand what respect is if they are not shown it. I can’t respect my mother’s decision to ground me for breaking curfew if she’s not willing to respectfully listen to my reasons. And I’m not referring to a repeat offender. If you don’t give your teenager the benefit of the doubt the first time you think they disobeyed you, then more than likely they will take liberties with your rules just because they have lost respect for them. If you have a young child and you drag them around and demand that they do this and that and don’t nurture their needs or even wants every so often, they will begin to throw tantrums or objects or even lash out with using words like no and pout. Yes, yes, a child whose needs are met can still exhibit these behaviors. But, that also brings me to my other point about respect. When you are giving another person respect, it can’t be at a loss to your personal value. You must respect yourself first, just like you must love yourself before you can love another person. If you don’t know your own worth and don’t believe that you deserve respect, it will be hard for others to respect you, no matter their size or connection to you. If I give into everyone of my child’s tantrums and allow him to dictate our everyday events, then I am sending a message to him that he is in charge. And not just of his overall self, but of me as well. I have a responsibility of knowing where that line is and how to ensure that it’s not crossed. And if it is, my job is to resolve the issue and make it a learning experience for the next time. So, as I am respecting my child and his needs, I am also teaching him respect for myself and others. I also believe that you must teach your child how to respect themselves.

So, the idea of respecting yourself along with respecting others is a bit tricky when it comes to parenting. But, we definitely exercise it most within friendships. It’s very rare that we align ourselves with people who do not show us respect. I mean I could think of a few cases where that isn’t true, but I still stick by it being uncommon.}

As you can see, I wrote the above blurb a while back. But, I still have those views about respect. I still need more time to elaborate on how I wish to enforce or teach respect to my child, though. But, I completely believe that respect is an integral part to any successful relationship. And by relationship, I mean; mother-child, friend-friend, spouse-spouse, lover-lover, boss-coworker, younger sibling-older sibling, etc.

The definition of respect discusses: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way. I wonder how some people would interpret this definition. For me, this means that everyone should be treated with respect because everyone is important. Size and level of authority shouldn’t matter. However, respect is a two way street. You should definitely give it, if you wish to receive it.

How do you view respect? Or to what degree is respect important to you? As a parent or within any of your relationships?

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