The little guy at the grocery store held tight to the unopened can of soda. His mommy gently attempted to coax it out of his iron grip so the clerk could add it to the list. He was old enough to speak one word clearly; “No!” When mom finally took it from him he exploded into a shrieking, howling mess. Mom retrieved the can and returned it soothingly to the little tyrant as quick as lightening. Silence ensued because his “distress” was over.
Tantrums are a part of normal toddler development. They test even the hardiest of parents. Sadly, many parents fail the test and years later, the end result is a tantrum-throwing grownup. At the very least, they are people who demand their own way and have no respect for others. Know anyone like that? I sure do!
I see under-aged adolescents brazenly smoking cigarettes in public places, practically challenging anyone passing by to tell them to stop.
At sports events and movie theaters there’s almost always someone who cuts in line, talks loudly or shoves to move past you.
Recently at a restaurant, the man next to us was using vile language and telling very offensive stories in a booming voice. He simply didn’t care what anyone else thought.
How about the 18-year-old “woman” who laughed all the way through her sentencing in court, then flipped off the judge and followed up with the accompanying verbal message.
In every case, the lack of respect started at an early age. Mature, healthy adults don’t suddenly unlearn how to be civil and decent. Respect, humility and good manners are taught at a slow, steady continual rate for many years…and the lesson sticks!
If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle follow the advice of the old Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song: “Teach your children well.” Don’t be afraid of a little tantrum or even a hate-fest. Learning that the world doesn’t owe you anything and that you can’t always get what you want (I’m really dating myself with these ancient lyrics!) are far more valuable than math tutoring or tennis lessons.
A kid that learns respect may hate his parents for a minute, but he’ll love them for a lifetime.
Have you experienced a rude, disrespectful encounter? Can you think of a parenting story you can share? Comment below and post on Facebook. Maybe some of those people who haven’t learned this will get the message, or perhaps you’ll empower a parent who doesn’t want to “upset” their kid to stay strong.
Authored By Diane Markins