Raising Respectful Kids: Is It Worse Than a Decade Ago?

Is respect really lower today than a decade ago?

As the new year approaches, how is your parenting or grandparenting? How do we teach civility and respect? There are some important and thoughtful points in this WSJ article "Parenting in the Age of Awfulness: Children are immersed in a culture that stokes disrespect. Here’s how to instill some civility."

Kyle was absorbed in a videogame on his cellphone, so I asked his mom, “How long has Kyle had a stomach ache?” Mom said, “I’m thinking it’s been about two days.” Then Kyle replied, “Shut up, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he gave a snorty laugh, without looking up from his videogame. Kyle is 10 years old.

I have been a physician for 29 years. This sort of language and behavior from a 10-year-old was very rare in the 1980s and 1990s. It would have been unusual a decade ago. It is common today. America’s children are immersed in a culture of disrespect: for parents, teachers, and one another. They learn it from television, even on the Disney Channel, where parents are portrayed as clueless, out-of-touch or absent. They learn it from celebrities or the Internet. They learn it from social media. They teach it to one another. They wear T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “I’m not shy. I just don’t like you.”

Some good cultural observations as well as practical ideas are shared at the article link.

What can you do different for 2016 for the sake of your generations?

1 Response

  1. I have to agree with this article. I see the disrespect every day everyday even at church. Our society has become so consumed with being "fair" and "inclusive" that we've made kids think that they're equals with adults. Therefore they see no reason to treat them any different than their peers. If they don't respect their parents they won't respect authority and they certainly won't have a respect for God. This is a huge problem in our society that will affect generations to come. Teach your kids respects..... No, demand respect! It's what is right and will lead them to the respect God calls them to as well

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