Many sayings and traditions have stood the test of time, one that stood out from my childhood is that you must “respect your elders”.
Now, I’m not saying this a bad idea to drill into kids, but all I’m saying is…isn’t it a bit dated?
Gone are the days when children were seen but not heard and we all know how disciplining children has changed over the years.
Once upon a time, nobody would bat an eyelid at you giving your child a clip round the ear in public, but times have changed and now there’s a wider knowledge base and support network for disciplining children.
I’m not saying parents, grandparents, teachers or any authoritative adult in a child’s life shouldn’t be respected and listened to.
I’m not even saying that kids shouldn’t look up to their elders, these are the people they are modelling themselves on, all I’m saying is…
Shouldn’t we teach kids to “respect…everybody”
Isn’t it wiser to broaden the spectrum of who our children are taught to respect?
Shouldn’t parents have respect for their children?
Think about it….
We are teaching them how to be a person after all, we’re also teaching them what is acceptable and what isn’t?
If it is OK for an older person to be rude to a younger person, aren’t we just teaching our kids to accept abuse?
I know the saying doesn’t necessarily say that elders will be rude, it’s more of a way just to steer youngsters in the right direction, but I feel in a day and age where mutual respect is sort of given, doesn’t it make more sense that we teach our kids to have respect for each other, so there are no blurred lines?
I had the thought to write this blog post because of a situation I saw in my doctor’s waiting room last week, I was waiting to get Nicole’s immunisations and there was another lady getting her 1 year old daughter into her buggy after getting her jabs. Her daughter was obviously upset after getting FOUR injections, the poor little love, I think I’d be crying too, but to be honest I didn’t really notice, she wasn’t overly screaming or drawing attention to herself. Her poor mother was trying her best to soothe her and get all their gubbins together (we all know how much baggage these little people come with). Then out of nowhere an elderly lady (at least in her eighties) pipes up and has the audacity to tell the mother she should be talking to her daughter, that she shouldn’t be ignoring her! I’m not being funny, but…
- Who the hell asked her?
- The mother was most definitely NOT ignoring her daughter
- We all know that kids are much better in motion and it was obvious the woman was rushing to get the heck out of dodge
Now I know this doesn’t directly relate to the saying “respect your elders” that I’ve been discussing in this blog post, but I have been thinking about that situation for about a week now and it made me think, why did this woman feel she had the right to openly and publicly judge this mother? Also why did the Mum not feel she had the right to argue back?
It’s difficult…especially with older frail people, sometimes it’s better to walk away, rather than raise the heart rate of an eighty year old, but I’m more interested to why it happened in the first place.
Obviously with people who are generations older than us, they have built into them what their parents taught them, of course they do, don’t we all? So maybe it’s not our place to change them but change the future? To prevent these situations in the future, it’s important we teach mutual respect for our children between people of all ages.
I know, I know….the world of parenting isn’t black and white! We all break our own rules sometimes and there are always things we wished we had done differently, but there’s nothing wrong with putting ideas in our kids heads about what they should accept and how they should treat other people. Plus we all know not everyone teaches their children to be respectful, but that doesn’t mean we can’t teach our children to politely respect other people even if that means people they don’t like there’s a polite way to ignore someone than openly flashing evil stares to their primary school nemesis.
I’ve rambled on for a while now over just a little thought, but it’s one that’s been on my mind for a while, instead of ONLY respecting our elders, let’s respect EVERYBODY.