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Not getting enough respect from others?

Ask yourself two questions.

  • Have you earned it?
  • Have you taught it?


A lot of people bemoan the lack of respect there is in this world. For parents, teachers, law enforcement, their gender, position, race, culture – the list goes on.

The word is bandied around a lot and has come to mean different things for different people.

When used in its guise of manners and courtesy, then everyone should feel the warmth of its glow.

In any other form, it is something that should be earned and taught by each individual. It’s the truth we need to share with children, even when it threatens the power of our status.





It’s essential to teach our kids to respect the rights of others. Even those they don’t respect. Everyone has the right to exist peacefully and safely. The right not to be hurt by unkind words and actions. This is just basic manners.

It’s also important to teach children to respect the authority of various positions. They may not like a teacher for instance. Maybe they don’t even respect that teacher. But they need to respect the authority that goes with the position because there are consequences if they don’t.

The same goes for law enforcement.

There is a big difference between respecting someone and respecting their position and how it relates to you.

This is an important thing for parents to remember because, though they have ultimate power in the early years, it fades quickly as children grow.

Parents can resort to all manner of punishment when children don’t do as they are told.

When the child becomes an adult, the punishments are trickier for parents, especially if their kids are financially independent.

They can no longer be sent to their room or grounded and parents often resort to emotional punishment to regain their authority

Often, it works for a while, but eventually, it builds a wall of resentment that shuts out all of their influence.

Parents who demand respect because of their position, rather than earning it because of who they are and how they behave, risk having their adult children turn against them completely.





grand respect picture


When my kids were young, one of our biggest fears as parents was stranger danger (simpler times, right?).

There were a lot of stories of people misusing their positions to harm children (some things don’t change). I told my sons that there is a difference between having respect for a position and a person and the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

Of course, by not demanding respect (other than the basic rights mentioned above) just by virtue of being their mother, I risked losing whatever control I felt I had.

Fortunately, I understood that to have a lasting influence, I needed to gain their respect not by demanding it, but by earning it. From what they have told me, I achieved this. So that’s good. 🙂

True respect, earned respect, is a lasting thing that creates a bond of trust and admiration. And it is grand.

Forced respect is not lasting and is a form of bullying that shows the parents have not appreciated what a blessing and honour their role is.




grand respect picture


Respect is a two-way street. It’s something you must give, in order to receive.

You must respect your children as individuals with their own hearts, minds, souls, desires, and ambitions. You cannot expect a return on a non-investment.

Some parents may claim they have invested. They’ve fed, clothed, educated, and cared for their children. I say that goes with the job.

The teacher who turns up for work each day and does the hours without compassion or passion is doing the same job as the one who goes to work full of commitment and concern. One will have respect. The other won’t.

The parent who feeds and shelters their child with the goal of controlling their actions as adults is doing the same job as the parent who brings up their child to live an independent and fulfilled life. One will have respect and the other won’t.

It works the same for other groups. Cultural groups may claim they are not getting enough respect for their beliefs and traditions. Are they respecting the different beliefs and traditions around them? How can they demand respect when they refuse to give it?




grand respect picture


It is equally important to show kids how to teach respect because, in the end, you teach people how to treat you.

While you cannot force people to respect you if you haven’t earned it, you can let them know when a lack of respect, especially for your basic rights, is unacceptable.

When you allow bad behaviour, unfair demands, and expectations to go unchecked, you are virtually telling the other person that you are OK with being treated that way. You are teaching them how to treat you.

The amazing thing about this is, that by teaching people how to respect you, you are earning their respect. That’s the truth.

Wishing you lots of respect and a gleeful week, Tamuria.





  • We have always taught our child to be respectful. He is now a young adult and people are always commenting how mannerable he is. Unfortunately, they say it as though they are surprised or that it is unusual and this should not be the case.

    • It’s wonderful that you have taught your son to have excellent manners, Rachel. I believe there is a real difference between acting respectfully (which absolutely should be taught) and having respect for someone who has earned it.

  • Respect is definitely something we earn, Tami. It’s funny how many people believe they deserve it just because of who they are and their position in the world. Teaching children the difference between being respectful and having respect for someone is so important, as it gives them a foundation for how to interact with people both as children and then taking that into adulthood. And yes, respect is definitely a two way street. It’s interesting how often people don’t respect themselves, but then respect others to respect them. We do live in a world where respect in general seems to be on the wane.

    • Yes, precisely my point, Beverley. Teaching children the difference gives them a foundation for how to interact with people. I agree there seems to be less respect in general than ever before.

  • There are some adults who don’t deserve respect and unfortunately, children tend to be more mature than some adults and for safety, they need to learn to be discerning. Values play a big part of that. Those same values should be to give respect to everyone unless they’ve given you a reason to self-protect.

    • So right, Cathy – kids need to learn to be discerning and then take that lesson into adulthood. There is a difference between giving respect to people, (which we should all be doing) and having respect for them (which I believe should be earned).

  • Respect, politeness, good manners were all thing we were taught as children by our parents. To see today’s young adults and children act so rudely is sad. When we lose respect, we lose everything.

    • I agree, Joyce, that respect in the form of manners and politeness, is a must. It’s important to teach kids the difference between being respectful and having respect for a person.

  • That is so true. It can also be said that education starts in your mother’s womb. We are all energy so we can connect. If a mother is a smoker and stops smoking because of the baby, the baby learns about respect. If one can straighten the foundation of values to children at an early age, the more ingrained they would be.

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