I have a question for you: Where has respect gone? It seems to be a distant concept, something people did “back in the day”.

Families don’t seem to have respect among themselves and the way I hear children talk to their parents, parents don’t seem to teach it either.

What’s happened? Children and young people do not seem to respect each other and most show no respect toward the elderly and disabled.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like younger people do not have role models from whom to learn respect. Today, it seems to be more about parents respecting their children’s “personal spaces”.

When I was growing up, respecting my family, especially my mother and grandmother, was as natural as breathing.

I saw how my mother treated my grandmother and us four girls treated both mother and mama (our name for my grandmother) with the utmost respect and care.

We didn’t know it any other way. And I just have to say that if I had ever treated either one of them with lack of respect, well, let’s just say you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

I’m smiling as I write this. In all seriousness, we didn’t know another way. We knew how to respect because we had good role models. And that plays the largest role in how I treat others.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given.

Respect has to be earned, but one of the ways you earn it as a parent is making sure that your children know that they should at all times respect you. And if they don’t, there should be serious consequences.

I’m not preaching here. I just don’t understand where respect has gone. It’s like it has packed its bags and gone on an extended vacation.

If you don’t insist that your child respect you, they will not learn to respect others. And they will not learn to respect themselves. It is give and take. You give respect and you take it when given back to you.

As parents we should treat everyone, including our own children, with respect and care. Our words, our voices, our tones should always be kind and respectful toward others.

Only when you give respect, do you receive it back.

Sending you blessings of love and kindness from Sterrett, Alabama!

Charity M. Richey-Bentley

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