The Family & Respect...
We each struggle with family relationships at different times and seasons. Mothers carry heavy burdens in the relationship when there is no active father (for several different reasons). Women are known to take on the responsibility of thinking they must fill in for men. I have often heard mothers say, “I have to be both parents for my children, the mom and the dad”. This is impossible and very unnecessary. When dad is absent or inactive, it is more important to focus on being the best mom, not two parents in one person. That is a burden too large to realistically bear. Children can become overwhelmed when dealing with an overbearing parent.
When dad is present, there can still be a struggle with respect in the home. One dad shared that he had been so busy demanding that his children RESPECT him, that he had never truly shown any respect to them.
Parents, what is your measuring line or tool for respect?
Please make sure that it is not one of these:
“Do as I say, not as I do!”
“Because I said so.”
“Because I am the adult.”
The above bullet points are all dangerous, but the “I’m the adult” is the most dangerous because it implies that a child/youth/teenager is less of a whole person, because they are the younger person in the scenario. Children are not lesser humans. We may not say this, but sometimes our behaviors communicate that we think that way. We treat children and young people how we think about them.
Consider this: One of the most popular phrases to say, as a young adult is “I’m Grown” or “I’m an adult”. The young person has been waiting to say what you have demonstrated as the ultimate rite of passage. For them, the statement means “finally, nobody can tell me what to do”.
Not every conflict with your young person is about disrespect. Consider that many of the conflicting interactions is more about them transitioning to another stage of development (which is loaded with much more insecurity than anticipation) and less about them being unkind to their parents. Sometimes the main problem is misunderstanding and miscommunication.
A key principle is mainly overlooked about the male and female gender: Men need respect communicated and women need love communicated! Our brains are wired that way.
The struggle of disrespect comes up a lot between moms and sons. The issue of respect will mainly show up because of an argument or conflict in thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs. The Mom wants to be respected by her son and the son will need to be shown respect as he transitions into manhood, even as little boys. Males are always in transition from boys to men. Girls require love. Love must be communicated to girls as they transition into women. Both Love & Respect, no matter what the gender, must always be communicated in a healthy and safe manner.
Respect can be loosely defined in the culture today:
The Urban Dictionary —
Treating people in a positive manner that acknowledges them for who they are and/or what they are doing. Being treated or treating an individual in a dignified manner.
We have made the topic of respect very confusing and counterproductive:
We say, “Respect is earned and is never just given”. Then we also say that wages are earned.
So, if wages and respect are in the same category, then respect is something that we work for and we are then “paid” for our compliance.
None of that sounds like treating a person in a dignified manner.
We each make the decision to give respect to receive respect (even if you never get respect in return). When you interact with an individual, you treat them with dignity and in a respectful manner. This should be a demonstration of your character as a person. Respect may or may not be reciprocated. You must always behave in a respectful manner as this reflects on you, your character, integrity, and values of who you are as a person.
The Madisel Way: “Don’t DEMAND Respect, Demonstrate it”!
No one owes you respect, so there is no such thing as I will give it after they give it to me first. That attitude is a disrespectful action to anyone you interact with as it insinuates that you do not trust them to act accordingly and implies that they "owe" you respect before you will give it. That will cause people to LOSE respect for you or never gain it in the first place. When you first meet someone, everyone is given the benefit of the doubt that they are a respectable individual. Questioning their integrity(respect) before you have even met them and "expecting" respect to be given without giving it yourself is insulting and condescending to that person and is judging them in a negative light when you know absolutely nothing about them.
Thus, to get respect, you must give it. So respectful behavior should just be part of how you act as a person 100% of the time.
Everyone deserves a basic amount of respect as an individual until proven otherwise.
|Dictionary.com says this about Respect: esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.|
|When you google the word Respect, they define it as: admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.|
Now consider this information about—
1. To speak highly of
2. To hold in high regard
3. To praise
Now, this list is a way of walking out Respect for others in the everyday behaviors of life:
1. Submit to one another.
2. Forgive one another.
3. Encourage one another.
4. Restore one another.
5. Accept one another.
6. Care for one another.
7. Bear with one another.
8. Carry one another burdens.
When you think about any of your relationships, are you demonstrating any of the items mentioned above?
One of the key attacks on the list mentioned above is:
WE JUDGE ONE ANOTHER!! I can be so busy judging you and your behavior that I never practice accepting you for who you are. We must stop looking for someone to clone and learn to love who the person is.
Every one of us is working in our own way to grow and develop. The growth is not at the same speed or focus.
Mom & Dad, how are you respecting the manhood of your sons and the womanhood of your daughters? When is the last time you spoke highly of him or her (remember life and death are in the power of the tongue)? Now, practice praise!! Find something to praise regularly in your children, no matter their age-this supports healthy development and builds up self-esteem & self-worth.
This is a great way for parents to demonstrate Respect at home.