Sadly, we live in a culture that breeds disrespect. Disregard for respect assaults us in the media, at school, at work, and in our own families. Joining the culture of disrespect comes easily when an environment of respect is not taught at home.
Some politicians are respect deficient and blatantly disregard laws, property, and other human beings. As violence and a nonchalant disregard for self and life rise among our youth, disrespect is the root of issues like drug and alcohol abuse, pornography, and bullying. Statistics show nearly 30% of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying. Experts say bullying is a result of feeling disrespected and wanting to have others share that same feeling. Studies estimate that 40% of bullies are bullied themselves in their own homes. Maybe we live in a culture of disrespect because our kids are not learning it at home.
Parents are fighting the rising tide of American culture that says they are irrelevant and children don’t need to respect them as authorities in their lives. Tired, distracted parents have bought into the lie that their influence doesn’t matter. They give in to the temptation to take their hands off the proverbial wheel as they resign the teaching of values to peers and pop culture. As parents, we can’t believe the lie. Our kids need us to teach them core values more than ever before. Respect should top the list.
Studies show that children who respect their parents and feel respected by them are more likely to reject smoking, drugs, and cheating. Children taught to respect others more often respect themselves. They are less likely to self-harm, attempt suicide, or bully.
To build a healthy environment of respect in your home, start by infusing respect into your own actions. Use polite words to others. Don’t gossip or slander others with your words. Avoid sarcasm; teasing is just bullying in disguise. Obey the rules. Don’t lie or cheat.
How can we re-establish respect as a core value in our society, communities, and neighborhoods?
We can begin at home.