Sunday, September 20, 2009

Raising Respectful Children

They really do exist. I have seen these rare creatures up close and in the flesh. They rarely travel in large packs like their more commonly seen counterparts, but respectful children do exist. So where'd they come from? Are they indigenous to the US or did they transport here from some other country... or planet? They were raised to be respectful, is my take on the phenomenon. They were given respect just as they were expected to give it. Adults in their lives listened when they talked. They payed attention to their fears, their hopes, dreams and their accomplishments. They were treated as valued people in their own homes. They were a part of the larger group, the family, and they had as much of a right to talk as anyone else. They learned their ideas and wants may not always get priority, because there were others who lived in this collective with them, but they also knew their needs would always be given top billing over the wants of others. These kids are all around us. At least they used to be. As we travel through our lives as busy adults, we tend to focus on what is causing the most distress at any given time. Kids know that. They watch what we pay attention to. They watch how we respond to wait times, traffic, stupid drivers, stupid people, and the list goes on. In order to get respect we have to be ready to give respect; respect for the spirit and personality that comes with every child and hopefully grows stronger the longer the child lives. You want to find children who are respectful? Look in your own family. If they aren't there, guess who's responsible?

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