Saturday, October 15, 2011

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

What happened to children being taught to have respect for other people? Respect means treating others the way we would want to be treated. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. It’s perhaps the most important thing we can teach our children. Respect impacts every relationship and interaction we have in life. One of a child’s most basic emotional needs is to be treated with respect. Where do they learn it? From us.  


I shake my head in disbelief and complete disappointment in parents these days, who are ignoring their responsibility to be tough but loving, teaching and training their children in matters of respect towards their parents and other authority figures. 


I am seeing this more and more as Teenzilla gets older. I was shocked at the way a fellow teammate of hers spoke to me- literally telling me "If you have a problem take it up with my mom" I swear- if she would have been mine she would have been picking her fucking teeth up off the ground. How does a parent allow a child to talk to OTHER ADULTS this way?  


I guess I am lucky. I have a teen girl who can be a total jerk sometimes- but she is respectful of other adults- even if she doesn't like them, or agree with them. I feel like I have taught her something very important. I model the same behavior. We can trash talk later- but when that adult is in front of you- you damn well better smile and fake it.  You call adults "Mr, Mrs. or Coach" you DO NOT call them by their first names unless invited to do so- and even then I insist that my kids RESPECTFULLY address them as such. 


I am "Ms. Dawn" to a whole lot of kids- I taught them in preschool and that is who I have always been to them. But I have noticed as they get older- more of them refer to me as "Mrs. Barnsdale" and that is just fine.  Teenzilla's closest friends still call me "Ms. Dawn" and I am ok with that. I am also a coach. And regardless of what team I am coaching, I expect ALL of the players to call me Coach Dawn- I refuse to answer if they don't.  


I am a laid back person. I play around with the kids, joke and be silly too. But I make it clear where the line is- and make it clear if it is crossed. I may be "The Cool Mom" but I am still a mom, not a friend.  And I am getting old now- so these nasty, rude, disrespectful, out of control kids that think they can speak to me like I am one of them are in for a rude awakening and so are their parents.  I can respectfully tell them to get their spawn under control, and pretty much tell them to fuck off in such a way that they don't even realize it. 


I wish I could say I feel sorry for these parents as their kids get older and the attitudes get worse, but I don't. There is a difference between a brat and a disrespectful little shit. Brats want attention, disrespectful little shits are a product of their upbringing- a good majority anyway. There are always those kids that just can't be reached no matter how good the parenting is.  But that doesn't give parents a right to stop trying. Unfortunately too many will give up- and the kids are the ones that ultimately pay the price.