Learning to Respect

When I was eleven and younger, my mom and dad were always the “parents” in my life. They were always telling me what to do and frustrating me. So, when I decided it was time for me to become a young lady, I wanted respect from my parents, as well as my siblings. Soon, I realized that I needed to respect my parents first, or they would not respect me; because, as the golden rule stated, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” In time, my parents would become more like best friends than  “annoying parents.”

For a couple months, I had been watching my family interact with each other, and I realized that we hadn’t been respecting each other like we should. For example, when I visited my relatives in December, my aunts, uncles, and grandparents all had great respect for each other because if they did not respect each other, their relationship would not be strong, and they might not see their loved ones very often. So first, if I wanted to start respecting my parents and siblings, I needed to learn what respect really was.

So, what is respect? Well, according to Merriam-Webster, respect means to “express high or special regard.” But, I believe that respect is treating a sibling or parent how you would treat a friend: comfortably, but giving them personal space, physically and mentally. Now that I knew what respecting was, I needed to put my respecting attitude in action. So, I told my parents about it one morning and asked them to try to respect me too; they agreed. That day went pretty well, until I disagreed with my mom about something, and I did what had been my habit for my whole life: grumble a bit and run off. So, my mom treated me like she usually would, by approaching me and telling me that I had to get back to school. But, I refused and went to my favorite thinking place, our tree house in our backyard.

After climbing into the treehouse, I thought hard, in the fresh air, about what my parents did when they did not agree with my aunt, my uncle, or grandparents: they talked about it in an orderly fashion, tried not to talk for too long when it was their turn to talk, kept the discussion at a mature level, and talked calmly about the issue. So, I ran back inside and talked the issue out with my mom. Now, respecting others was not always easy-peasy; in fact, it was hard, always thinking about others and your actions. But, if you want to have good relationships, then you need to respect the other people in those relationships. If you are having trouble respecting others, think about how you felt when someone did not respect you and your feelings.

This event matured me greatly, and it prepared me for when I go away from home and need to form strong relationships with people. So, to respect your parents is to obey them because they have lived longer than you and know much more than you. If you disagree with your parents, you need to talk to them about what is upsetting you in a mature manner. Respecting people is essential for any type of relationship, even a relationship with a young child, or your own child.


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