Parents, Teens, Kids and Respect


I’m just wondering why parents expect their children to respect them when they don’t respect their children. My parents and I’m sure quite a few others would assume children should respect their parents because they do a lot for them (provide a home, food, love) I do not agree with this. I believe that parents…

I am sorry to hear about your mother’s behavior Sara, that does sound very disrespectful of her; selfish and irresponsible to boot.

I respect my son greatly, but that’s not a fair example because he is so astutely respectable. ^_^ I know many children who disrespect their parents (in a way you might also classify as “bratty” for example) who claim that their parents don’t respect them; but what they really mean is they feel their parents don’t spoil them enough (which is normally a sign they are spoiled too much!). That was the relationship that first came to mind when I read your question title.

So, I do believe that providing food, shelter, etc on a continual and reliable basis should at least measure some credit in favor of the parent. Being able to continually make ends meet is a terrible burden in todays society most children won’t be able to appreciate. Also it is the duty of the parent to guide and discipline their children. Many young children will interpret punishment as disrespect or something that is unfair when in fact it is conditioning which is meant to prove beneficial to the child.

So in the very general, people should share respect. However a person should not have to waste respect on another person who will not return it after many attempts.

In the more specifc, the average parent/child relationship begins with the parents investing significantly and continually in their children’s well-beings, and the average child ought to respect their trusted care givers and respect the rules these guardians lay down. Further trust and respect may be traded if either or both parties have any left over! ^_~

In the very specific case of your relationship with your mother Sara, based on your story she is not treating you with respect even insomuch as looking after your well-being, so your personal obligation to her I would deem to be minimal at best. It is a sad state of affairs and I pray that things get better however.

Does this help at all? Best Wishes, Sara! <hug/>

Dear Sara,

I suspect that you have confused respect with obedience and with love. You have to love your family, even if you don’t like them. You have to obey the rules of the house in which you live. But respect, as others have said must be earned.

People earn respect in various ways. Leaders earn it by making wise decisions and proving that they respect their subordinates. Parents earn respect by doing the things that parents do: care for children, teach them values, love them and watch out for them. A parent’s job is never quite finished, even after his children have children of their own.

Your mother’s actions do not seem to be those of a parent who has earned respect. Of course, we only see one side of this situation and perhaps your mother has reasons for making you leave her and your home. You have answered one question of mine in your comments. It is very probable that your mother has problems of her own. Refusing to admit a mental health difficulty is not uncommon. While it is a reason for her behavior, it is not an excuse.

Some of your difficulties may stem from your situation and some may be age related. It is also possible that your depression is inherited. In any case, you will probably be on some type of medication for the rest of your life. That’s not a bad thing, just an annoyance for you.

As for parents knowing/doing what is best for their children, there is no guarantee. I think the line came from the film “Mermaids” where the mother informs her daughter that, “You didn’t come with an instruction manual.” It’s true. Parents have to feel their way through their kids raising. There are books out there. But every child is an individual and what works for one may not work for another.

It is frustrating and depressing to think that your mother does not care about you. Please consider her own mental condition. It is not the case as the French philosopher once said that “to know all is to forgive all.” My experience has been that in order to regain life’s balance, you must first forgive yourself. Lose the guilt that something you might have done was the trigger for her actions. I know that feeling is not an obvious one for you. But it is very likely there and must be dealt with. Then you can get around to forgiving your mother and perhaps even learning to love her again. These things are not for her. They are for you.

I hope that this makes some kind of sense to you. In the mean time, stay well.

Tiger Toy

I was abused as a child. I wouldn’t say I really “respect” my parents–even when I was a kid, it was more about doing whatever they wanted out of fear. I was trying to survive. I’d accept blame for stuff I didn’t do, I’d let them hit me without fighting back, I’d let them say whatever vicious stuff they wanted because I was scared of what would happen if I stood up for myself.

I don’t really have much of an idea how normal parents behave. Part of the abuse I faced was isolation so that I would think that what was happening to me was normal (or at least not know that it wasn’t normal.)

I don’t respect abusers. They certainly didn’t respect me. I don’t know how respect works between parents and children. But I would guess (like, from watching Supernanny or whatever) that parents should show love and discipline and kids will naturally love and respect them if they have a good relationship.

I could not agree with you more. Children deserve the same respect as a parent does. Do unto others………….

I am sorry you have had these problems with your mom. Thank God for your grandparents. You sound like a very smart girl and I wish you all the best. Hang in there, OK!

Respect your mother just because she is your mother. You may not respect her as a person, but respect her as your mother. It’s like you may not respect the president of the USA but you respect the office.

You are right parents are not always correct and respect is something that should be earned. You knew your mother rule about girls being in the house but you like all other children, you wanted to test the water. I do not know if your mother told you what the results would be for breaking that rule. You did not show respect to your mother it was more like a slap in the face for her. I’m sure this it not your first time breaking rules. Is it possible that the girl was the last straw?

You state depression is the reason for what you do. If that is the case do you not think your mother may also be depressed? You state your grandparents notice you were depressed. Did they notice their own child may be depressed? Get off your mother’s back until you know more.

Speak to your mother and do it with the dignity.

The answer to your question is YES. You will understand this more as you mature. When you have a child and set rules and those rules are thrown in the trash by that child you will UNDERSTAND.

I have three girls, they’re seven, nine, and ten. The oldest, Alexis, acts depressed all the time. I know that you’re five years older than her, and it’s not exactly the same thing, but I’m afraid that it might turn into the same thing. Of course, I would NEVER kick Lexi out, but I’m afraid that things will escalate to the point where I’ll consider it. I’m also afraid that she will influence her sisters into the bad behavior. Lainie and Gigi are known to follow in their sister’s footsteps, and they act like she’s their role-model. I’m kind of afraid.

I don’t think that any parent should kick their fifteen-year-old kid out, and I think it should count as child abuse. I don’t think that you should respect you’re mother. And I agree completely with you, parents should have to earn respect.

Of course. Thats why I hate it when parents say “I’m right because I’m your mom” They have more life experience and a difficult task, and that needs to be respected, but children have different views and thoughts that ca lead to different answers that must be respected too. Basically the golden rule still applies, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

So sorry about your mom. Best of Luck.

i think you have a good point there…i think it should work both ways too. i am a parent of 2 small children. but yeah i think things would be so much better if parents respected their children the same that they expect their children to respect them. and as for your story…that is just a rediculous thing of your mom to do. thats not very loving. but other then that, i think you got some good thinking there.

Interesting statement. I can see your point. I am 32 now and I respect my father. My mother passed away when I was 10. My father earned my respect by the things he did for my brothers and myself. I do agree with you; respect is a two way street. I never thought of that before,,great question.

I understand where ur coming from as my 17yr old girl is driving me nuts with her depressive behaviour right now, Ive offered all the support I can but she talks to me like dirt Ive offered to go with her to do this that the next thing and I get dogs abuse theres only so much a mother can actually take!

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