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Children Should Show Respect, As Should Parents

Child and adult

As a family psychologist, I’ve found that a parental concern even more common than the ubiquitous Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is disrespect. Whether it’s talking back, having an attitude, or refusing to listen, disrespect is often at the top of the problem list parents bring to my office. I typically search for ways to move disrespect down the list.

Valuing People or Valuing Power?

It’s difficult to suggest putting the topic off until later because respect is very important. However, we parents too often fall into demanding respect and forcing children to comply. With threats, punishment, shaming, bribes, and rewards, we use various forms of our power to get kids to respect authority. Our success has been our downfall. We’ve unwittingly taught kids to respect the power and control of authority, losing sight of the more important goal of respecting relationships and respecting each other as individuals.

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We’ve taught kids to value power and control so much that they want it for themselves. When kids set out to gain this elevated standing, power struggles with their parents can grow. This explains a phenomenon I observe in my office: the more a parent identifies with power and control, the more likely they are locked in protracted conflict with one or more of their children.

As a counselor, respect for power and authority typically is not at the top of my list. We need to demonstrate respect for each other and for relationships, not for power and control. We need to win children’s respect, not try to demand or force it. Coercing respect might bring compliance but it doesn’t build true respect for each other. Respect is won by giving it and earned by acknowledgement of innate worth and equality. Children are our equals, not in skill or knowledge, but in human dignity. We should treat them as such.

Modeling Respect

Gaining children’s respect begins with treating them respectfully and focusing on the relationship. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Strive for cooperation, not compliance. Cooperation connotes mutual consideration and the freedom to contribute one’s opinion and influence. Compliance can be mindless submission and always requires less investment from the child.
  2. In general, don’t do for a child what the child can do for him/herself. Undue service is disrespectful.
  3. Be consistent in your expectations. Being lax one day and firm the next shows disrespect for the relationship—it demonstrates that your mood and energy level come before the parent/child relationship in importance.
  4. Separate the deed from the doer, stay problem focused, and work toward agreements via discussion.
  5. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Follow through. Respect kids enough to know they understand the issue. They don’t need repeated reminders, repeated explanations, or threats.
  6. State the problem as a social problem. Note how the problem detracts from intimacy and enjoyment of each other, and then ask for help in solving the difficulty. “When you two fight in the car, I don’t enjoy being with you and I don’t feel like taking you with me next time. What should we do about this?”
  7. Don’t talk down to children. Get rid of the cartoon voice and show genuine emotion.

© Copyright 2008 by John Petersen, Psy.D., therapist in South Bend, IN. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments
  • Amyhop June 9th, 2008 at 4:29 AM #1

    This is so true! I see so many people who give absolutely no respect to their children yet demand it from them in return. How are children ever to learn how to give respect when they are never shown that themselves?

  • Kyle June 10th, 2008 at 9:13 AM #2

    I am so glad to hear that this drives you as crazy as it does me. I see so many “adults” who act more like children than their own children do and that is sad! Children deserve the same amount of respect as do adults and they will never learn how to give this to others if they are never shown that by those role models in their own lives!

  • upstatesc June 16th, 2008 at 6:17 AM #3

    And what do we do about those who never received this as children and who then turn around and give the exact same back to their own children? It is a viscious cycle and sometimes it seems that there is no way to stop that circle. What can we do to make that happen?

  • Scott Earisman June 16th, 2008 at 4:26 AM #4

    Good article. What is curious to me is how often parents feel “disrespected” when expecting kids to be able to do things that they aren’t developmentally ready to do. Examples include sitting still, cleaning unsupervised for extended periods, and following sophisticated social rules.

    If we only knew as much about our kids as we know about football.

  • Jillian June 17th, 2008 at 10:48 AM #5

    There should be a license to parent- period! This should not be a right but an honor and there are so many who do not treat this as a privilege at all.

  • ashley June 18th, 2008 at 4:42 AM #6

    What about requiring people to take parenting classes? But then what do you do if they fail or if they just do not show up?

  • Cynthia V June 20th, 2008 at 3:27 AM #7

    That is just it- we cannot require these sorts of things of other people. That is not right. Neither is bad parenting. But we have to step up and give at risk families the resources they need to become better parents and caregivers rather than punishing them outright and telling some that they are not worthy of having children when they have never even had the opportunity to try.

  • Ashley June 23rd, 2008 at 2:38 AM #8

    And much of this could be prevented if we simply paid more attention to the things our kids get from watching TV. There are so many sassy mouth kids on TV shows that our own kids try to emulate- we just need to switch those things off and sit down together for some one on one parent and child time. It is thru interactions like these that they will learn how to not only get respect from others but also how to give that same respect back to them.

  • Margo June 24th, 2008 at 1:25 PM #9

    You are right about the fact that there seem to be way more negative role models for kids on TV and in sports than there are good positive ones. No wonder so many of them talk to adults with no respect at all. Those are the behaviors that they constantly see rewarded on a daily basis.

  • Austin June 25th, 2008 at 10:00 AM #10

    What ever happened to disciplining kids for showing no respect? I am not saying you have to hit them but there needs to be a firm line drawn to show them that you are the parent and they are the child and instill this from early on in life so that they will recognize the importance of giving respect to others.

  • Nikki June 29th, 2008 at 11:01 AM #11

    Because there are too many parents who are more interested in being friends wih their kids rather than being the parent. They want to be perceived as cool and do not realize what a disservice they are actually doing to the kids.

  • Sandy June 30th, 2008 at 10:00 AM #12

    In the words of Bill Cosby: Come on people! We have to get it together for the good of our kids. We need to give them what they need, which is love, care, and discipline!

  • John Petersen July 3rd, 2008 at 8:44 AM #13

    As the author of the article, I apologize for this late reply.

    Upstatesc, your question of how to step out of the cycle of disrespect is very important. Someone has to make the first move, unless they show up for counseling together and decide to take that step together.

    I typically look to the adults to lead. Someone has to be the adult in the situation. That is not to blame the adult for the cycle, but to lean on their responsibility and good will as a parent to move first. The good news is that parents, even most of the parents commonly judged to be bad or troubled, are willing to make changes. Every parent has a value/dream of what family could be. We tap into that and point out how mutual respect and cooperation will give the best chance of getting there.

    Other comments have referred to parenting classes as a fix. I routinely run parenting classes and can say that all types of parents benefit from them. But parents take away what is meaningful to them and not always what you or I see as meaningful. All we can do is honor that growth and encourage them to continue to grow. That is all I can do in my own growth as a parent and would not expect anything else from others.

    Lastly, there was a suggestion to discipline children for their disrespect. I agree if by discipline you mean teach and set a limit. The limit must be your own limit, what you are willing or not willing to do given the disrespect that exists. For example, when my children yell at me or are rude in conversation (usually a conversation about computer use or television) I will refuse to discuss it further until we can try again in a more respectful manner. The limit is communicated by controlling myself (ending my side of the conversation/argument), not by attempting to control the child. We can teach them experientially that disrespect erodes our good will and interest in cooperating (e.g, my willingness to share my computer). If done without threats or dishing back disrespect, our children perceive rudeness to be ineffective. If we discipline with disrespectful tactics, they perceive the parent, not their own behavior, to be the problem.

  • runninfast July 20th, 2008 at 11:08 AM #14

    For our family, like the article clearly states, consistency is the key. Earning the respect of your children is never going to happen when they percieve you to be easily swayed and convinced that inappropriate behavior is OK. Yes earning respect is a job that you have to focus on doing 24 hours a day but in the long run it will make you a better parent and your kids will be better for it as well.

  • Sally July 28th, 2008 at 1:53 AM #15

    I have taught in the classroom for over twenty years and of course I too have noticed a deterioration of respect for others in society in general. But that is something I will not tolerate in my classroom, not for myself or for others. For me it is important to make that clear from the very beginning, to spell out my very high expectations for my students, and I find that more often than not they will rise to the occasion to meet and even exceed what I had set out for them. You show children that you respect them and their abilities enough and believe in them and they will live up to what you knew they could be all along. I think that with the respect issue this often gets lost along the way. Many times children simply behave as you unwittingly expect them to and if you do not hold them to high standards then that is the level at which they will perform, both in the classroom and in life in general.

  • John Petersen July 28th, 2008 at 12:12 PM #16

    Excellent point, Sally. Children often live down to expectations. We can show respect by expecting them to contribute as essential members of the family and classroom. We can also expect them to act respectfully as a matter routine.

    Coming on strong with threats about what will happen if such and such disrespectful behavior occurs alerts everyone we don’t have confidence children will cooperate or we expect children to spark more problems than solutions. We can anticipate and expect respect and cooperation, and, as you point out, it benefits all involved if we are clear about our expectation. Also, let’s be clear about what we are going to give. How often did we hear teachers tell us, “I’ll show you respect because you deserve it, our classroom deserves it, and I deserve it.”? Never. We hear, “I’ll show you respect if you respect me.” which sounds more like the code ethics among criminal gangs.
    Of course, we need a clue about what to do when disrespect comes along, but we’d be better off setting up and expecting respectful relationships from the start.

  • Josh Spurlock April 21st, 2009 at 3:53 PM #17

    Respect is one of those things best caught, not taught.

  • Alex July 26th, 2009 at 8:43 AM #18

    This is a problem I have long struggled with. I am 20 and live at home. I commute to college. My parents have always demanded respect, and the punishments for not obeying their commands have always been harsh. When they speak to me it is in a highly condescending manner. In their eyes, they know all. I have tried to tell them how I feel, but any negative feelings or disagreement with how they do things is considered disrespect for them. They have consistently told me that I am not to speak to them as an equal. I love my parents, but I feel that we are on a road to a more distant relationship than we already have. The saddest part is, they don’t even see it. They truly believe that they know me on a deep level, but the truth is, I am afraid to discuss anything with them that is more than skin deep. At this point I feel trapped with no way of improving the situation.

  • John Petersen July 27th, 2009 at 7:38 AM #19

    Alex,
    Thank you for adding to the conversation. You offer an adult voice to what our children cannot say, but would want to say if they could. Humans, and yes this includes children, are never satisfied standing in an inferior position, as measured by respect not by skill, knowledge, age, or any other measurable quality.

    Given yours is an adult relationship issue, I’d like to point out there is an opportunity to ask your parents for some behavior change. If they aren’t going to buy into the concept of equal human worth, they may at least be willing to avoid certain language or behavior that is damaging the relationship. It is a place to start. Then limit your parental exposure to areas where they are willing to agree to respectful treatment.

    Going for a smaller victories keeps you away from ultimatums and keeps some parent/adult child relationship going.

  • Dionne S. July 27th, 2009 at 3:23 PM #20

    Mr Peterson, your response dismays me. Instead of Alex asking his parents for some behavior change, how about him meeting them halfway?

    He says their punishments for not obeying their commands is harsh. Why isn’t that answered with a question about why he’s not doing what’s asked of him first before assuming it’s all the parent’s fault? Respectful treatment is a two way street.

    I’m not related to Alex.

  • John Petersen July 27th, 2009 at 4:25 PM #21

    Dionne,

    Quoting you, “Why isn’t that answered with a question about why he’s not doing what’s asked of him first before assuming it’s all the parent’s fault?”

    I appreciate the question. The short answer is because his parents never asked. That was the heart of his complaint. And I had the sense that Alex was looking for some constructive pointers, not someone else to take his parents’ side.

    My response to Alex was focused not on the harsh punishment but on the commanding and condescending approach he perceives they take. His perception is very important and valid. I don’t have to blame the parents to take that stance. In fact, I don’t think I blamed his parents at all. Generally, I take the stance that nobody is to blame and all are responsible.

  • Dionne S. August 16th, 2009 at 1:24 PM #22

    Thanks for the clarification and response, Mr Peterson. I wasn’t taking his parents side either nor undervaluing him as a person. I feel that ignoring his own admission of not doing what was asked is conveniently sidestepping that. Responsibility lies at everyone’s feet, I agree.

    I should have addressed the question to Alex so I shall. Thanks for responding.

    Alex, why don’t you do what’s asked of you and save all the animosity and aggravation? Or here’s an idea. You don’t need to continue accepting the home comforts nor the rules. Find out what it’s like to be a grown up by moving out. Your parents may be glad of the break too. You’re obviously a smart kid. You could pick up a job no problem. You can’t control their actions so take charge of your own.

  • Alex August 17th, 2009 at 6:18 AM #23

    I believe you have incorrectly assumed that I frequently break the rules. Actually, is is extremely rare for me to break a clear set rule. The problem lies in a lack of communication. I feel I am at a point where I should have more control over my life and more respect from my parents. As far as moving out, this is really not an option. I barely have the money to pay for college. I can’t see any justification in abandoning my education over roughness in a relationship with my parents.

  • mary price September 9th, 2009 at 3:55 PM #24

    your comment about us as parents having to “earn our children’s respect, and “children are our equals” is totally wrong! Since when do we as parents have to tip toe around our kids and walk on egg shells, so we will be sure to ”
    respect our kids,” while they trash, and verbally,and maybe physically abuse us as parents. Children are NOT our equals. Children need to obey thier parents, and listen to what they are told. The parent has a good reason when they tell thier kids to do or not to do something. Of course things change, should the parent(s)be totally abusive in any way then I would agree the parent loses the childs respect, and love.

  • parent January 7th, 2010 at 12:56 PM #25

    i agree, children should be a equal and thats us as parents should. you also do get alot of conflict when we force respect through power instead of relationships.

  • PsyFy January 31st, 2010 at 8:26 AM #26

    Ok. I am 18 now, still in high school and about to graduate. I get good grades, i am in honors classes, i haven’t been arrested and don’t smoke, drink, or do any drugs. I have a job, but don’t make enough to move out yet. Yes i plan on attending college also. As far as me doing chores, i struggle doing them sometimes because honestly, they are like towards the bottom of my list(art, playing and making music, school work,, studying, friends, girlfriend, etc.) Also, i am a calm and collective person. I’m the type that thinks about what i say. and i also believe i am well educated.

    My mom is a lawyer, survived breast cancer, has been taking care of 3 children (me being the oldest) on her own, she is now married for the 5th time (she is still not that happy with it though, im not either). i believe she has been through alot and overcame alot, and i honor that alot. im proud of my mom and love her. but she can be very controlling, and when i stand up to the pupeteer (her), and cut off those strings (her manipulation, and control over my life), then she see’s it as disrespectful, and says i dont love her and stuff.

    I’m in the same exact predicament as Alex. My mom is just like Alex’s parents! She is very controlling, and if its not done her way, its disrespectful. Now i am not trying to accuse her as the wrong person in this matter but it is very overwhelming. usually when i am at school, i am like “man i cant wait to get home”, but now, i am not even excited about going home. when me and my mom meet a disagreement, its disrespectful because i stand up to my point instead of ignoring mine and believing hers. when ever i try and talk to her about how she makes me feel, i am always the guilty one in every conversation. when i do what she tells me but do it in my own way instead of doing it exactly how she tells me, it’s disrespectful to her. i.g.( its 2:15 and im just arriving home from school and i cant wait to play some halo 3 on xbox live after doing home work. when i come home from school, she tells me to cut the grass. its like 3:00 and it’s blazing hot outside. so i wait until 5:00 to cut it when it cools down a bit. The end result is that i do what she says(i cut the grass), i just do it under the my concerns, still focusing on what i was told to do.)

    also, when my mom see’s something as disrespectful, she blows things out of proportion, throws away her sanity, and says what ever comes to mind, satisfying her emotions. like i feel its really annoying and inconsiderate. im very concerned about this issue, because i can see the end result of our mother-son relationship. i want it to be great. i feel she needs to start respecting my judgments and decisions.

    there are alot of details i left out, due to the space i already used. but please help, and please read Alex’s comment above because it fills in some of my missing details. im like in the same situation!!HEELPPP!!!!

  • John Petersen January 31st, 2010 at 9:30 AM #27

    PsyFy,
    I’m so grateful for what you have shared and I’m struck by how respectful it is of your mother. As you say, she has been through a lot, in on her fifth marriage, and may still be unable to count on men to follow through. I wonder if she needs to be in control, be able to count on things, and needs to watch her back lest she be let down by men again. You seem to hint at this and you respect her position, and so you are more than half way there.

    If there were a way for her to understand your situation without defensiveness or feeling disrespected, you could then offer her a commitment she can count on but one that allows you some freedom and respect as well. For example, agree to chores a week ahead of time. If you’re going to cut the grass, you offer the day and time, so you have a larger voice in the matter (while still offering your appreciation and respect for her position). When you honor the agreement, you protect your freedom and dignity and she is not tempted to “throw away her sanity.”

    Of course life gets in the way and you’ll fall short at some point. A graceful recovery is the key at such times. Lead off with a gesture of respect and understanding, mention you’d like a chance to make it right, and ask that she trust you and stay calm about it.

    Catch her being good and mention what you appreciate about her and what she is doing. Note improvement and talk to her about the change you notice. Highlight and thicken the differences between fighting for control and cooperating to protect freedom and respect.

    Best of luck and, again, thank you for your wonderful post.

  • Trace February 18th, 2010 at 10:12 PM #28

    i have so many problems with my parents because i think i deserve respect as a fellow human being, not a slave. I totally agree with the compliance vs coordination thing. I wish my parents had enough sense to try it. Great article.

  • Paul July 28th, 2010 at 4:35 PM #29

    This is rediculously true. Parents focus on “demands” and that they “demand” respect and feel superior to the children. How are you (as a child) supposed to give respect to your parents if you are treated like s**t everyday from your parents, and that they demand respect for you. Every parent that falls under those rules of treating your children like that should really treat children as other people… because THEY ARE. Burn in hell if you treat your children like that. It also creates depression within the childs mind, thinking they are nothing but a slave to the parent. Which is rediculous. Just remember, in the end you will be judged. The way you treat your children now will show its affect in the future. All I am saying is TREAT them like you would want someone else to treat you… that’s it!! No stupid “oh because im the parent B.S.” We are all human, all seperate people, all have emotions, all living on the same Earth. PARENTS have absolutely no power over the way the child lives their lives. LEAD THEM in the right direction. But don’t put them down, treat them like s**t because darn well they probably don’t do that to you. What goes around comes around.

  • Pulpo Paul October 7th, 2010 at 9:38 AM #30

    This is rediculously true. Parents focus on “demands” and that they “demand” respect and feel superior to the children. How are you (as a child) supposed to give respect to your parents if you are treated like s**t everyday from your parents, and that they demand respect for you. Every parent that falls under those rules of treating your children like that should really treat children as other people… because THEY ARE. Burn in hell if you treat your children like that. It also creates depression within the childs mind, thinking they are nothing but a slave to the parent. Which is rediculous. Just remember, in the end you will be judged. The way you treat your children now will show its affect in the future. All I am saying is TREAT them like you would want someone else to treat you… that’s it!! No stupid “oh because im the parent B.S.” We are all human, all seperate people, all have emotions, all living on the same Earth. PARENTS have absolutely no power over the way the child lives their lives. LEAD THEM in the right direction. But don’t put them down, treat them like s**t because darn well they probably don’t do that to you. What goes around comes around.

  • Robert May 10th, 2011 at 8:16 AM #31

    Good day! I have a problem with my mom these days, i do not know what to do. She always want to have my respect but i do not feel the respect that she is giving me. :(

  • Dana July 9th, 2011 at 8:02 AM #32

    I’m a teenager to a rather excellent home. But I argue with my parents often because of my tire from them doing EXACTLY what this article is preventing. Only my younger brother has been diagnosed with ADHD, but all 3 of us are siblings of the same parents, and they are rather demanding. It is rare to even hear a sorry for an overreaction. Often, when I argue a point that they might actually be wrong, I am told to stop being a ‘smart-mouth’ and that [their wrong] isn’t up for discussion anymore. I wish I could get them to read this. This is the main problem in this household.

  • Dana July 9th, 2011 at 8:04 AM #33

    Also, could someone explain these missing ‘rights’ of speech and opinion that I supposedly don’t have with my parents?

  • Ben Allen October 19th, 2011 at 3:28 PM #34

    I live in a suburban upper-middle class Progressive home in Wisconsin,
    and when I refuse to let my parents go through my stuff they start
    taking away priveleges and demanding my respect. It wasn’t even
    for anything like drugs, my mom wanted to go through some of my
    papers. I told her that I have a right to my privacy; she says I don’t
    and pulls out the parental trump card, “I am your parent and you will
    respect me.” The respect that was left shot itself. Anyway, my dad has
    done this too. How can I get my parents to respect my privacy and
    acknowledge that if I have to earn their respect then they have to earn
    mine?

    P.S. I already go to a psychologist.

  • Savannah November 19th, 2011 at 8:39 PM #35

    I’m 16. In general, I have a really good relationship with both my parents. However, often I’d have fights with my mum. I suppose I’m not very respectful with how I handle it but I dont know how else to act because I dont agree with the way she speaks to me in these cases, with her angry demanding tone, and her attitude towards me and I just get really fired up. & she’s not even speaking to me that way for a good reason! I did nothing wrong to start with!! Then later after it cools down a bit, sure she’ll be speaking nice again, but firm, but demanding an apology from me, where I can really struggle to do that believing she also needs to make some sort of apology for the way she treated me. And then it fires up again & it just causes this big issue!! I agree that the whole demanding thing really fuels the issue quite badly!

  • Vivi December 30th, 2011 at 1:12 AM #36

    I just broke up with my bf because his daughter was disrespected with him every time they were visiting me. I have rules at home with my kids when they are upset trying to fix the problems talking, no screaming. But my bf’s daughter was swearing, fighting and screaming at me also! I decided to become a “teaching respect helper” talking to her, showing love and respect for her, but really teaching respect is not only the father’s gf job, also both parents are supposed to help, which wasn’t happening. He told me his daughter has EDHD but I noticed she is a real smart girl just need someone to listen about her feelings. At the end, I’m just a human being, I raised 2 kids now in College and I have 2 teenagers we spend all day together, a lot of work for a single mother. (Still sad since I love him.)

  • Dumki Dobeys February 2nd, 2012 at 2:21 PM #37

    Kids are too dumb to tell whether their parents are telling the truth or lying. After long, it’s too late to correct the problems ingrained in their brains. Stupid people should be sterilized so they cannot breed.

  • Abdulhakeem Shuaib March 9th, 2012 at 2:44 AM #38

    I’ll be 21 this sept and my mum still treats me like a 12 yr old boy. Always finding every little reason to shout at me. She separated from my dad before i was born and dis is the first time i’m living with her and her husband up to 8 months. now i cant even eat peacefully and my dad is also married to 2 wives bt he seemed to understands me better. my mum always thinks shouting and nagging at me is the best way to correct me. pls tell me wat to do, cos i cant concentrate on my work and my studies again. thanks, i’m waiting for your advise!

  • Maria March 12th, 2012 at 4:01 PM #39

    To Ms. Mary Price, you are a perfect example of a controlling and hypocritical parent. Before you demand respect from your kids, YOU need to show them what respect is before they practice that respect. Like the article said, children are our equals NOT IN SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE, but in HUMAN DIGNITY? Did you happen to miss that part, or did you overlook because it was inconvenient to you? Parents SHOULD earn a child’s respect. They deserve it just as much as you do.

  • John March 30th, 2012 at 7:38 PM #40

    all people are made in Gods image, and are equal at the throne of grace, children are oblagated to repect their parents has the Bible commands, but the parents have an oblagation to love, cherish, and respect their children has future adults, and therefore, however the parents treat their kids will be reflected when they become adults. all the world dictaters (Hitler, Nero… etc) it all started with what they were influenced with when they were children, granted it could have been friends, the wrong books etc. but it probably started with their family i.e. their parents. what ever the the parents tell their children at younger ages will be obsorbed and interpeted than consequently, used. What parents really don’t realize, is when they don’t give respect yet demand it, the kids don’t really get a good picture of respect.The dictionary definition is:esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: you don’t see alot of that coming from a kids point of view when he never gets privileges or respect from his/her parents. A related proverb would be: “if you treat a rose well, it will bloom, if you neglect it, it will whither and die.

  • Andy April 6th, 2012 at 4:14 PM #41

    My relationship between my dad and I isn’t good. A good reason why some parents demand respect and give none back is their background. When they were a child, that was the way their parents treated them. When those parents bore children they decided to treat their children like that. The sad part is, in our modern society people still act like this. Those parents need to realize that they need to treat everyone more fairly, especially their kids.
    My dad was a very disagreeable man. He would always talk like all his ideas are correct, and the worst part is he would never apologize for his wrong action.
    Anyone with a dad like that?

  • kimi June 19th, 2012 at 5:25 PM #42

    my mom and dad are making me write an essay on respect and this makes so much sense to me….I just wish I could tell them this but the moment you talk down to them about them not understanding they blow up.

  • Nick June 20th, 2012 at 10:49 AM #43

    my parents are making me write a paper on respect too, when I tried to show them this they said all these people needed to be less selfish and have more perspective.

  • Joel October 28th, 2012 at 8:44 AM #44

    Thank you so much for proving my point! It kills me that my parents think themselves above me and think that they don’t have to respect but that I have to respect them. It was incredibly wrong of them and thank you for posting this article to really teach my parents a lesson.

  • Lisa November 3rd, 2012 at 4:03 AM #45

    I’m just beginning to realize why I come home (whenever I do) with as much dread as excitement.

    Whenever my dad says something hurtful, I’m expected to suck it up. I think it’s been like that for a long time, and became difficult to follow when I was in my teens and dealing with post-trauma stress. I’m supposed to suck it up even now. To the extent that if I show I’m hurt by something he’s said (my face is like an open book lol), he will accuse me of being a whiner and an attention seeker…and this sort of behaviour persists even though I’m an adult and married. It’s almost as if my opinion is to be shot down by default and there is nothing I can say that will be considered with anything other than contempt. And since we come from a culture where your parents are to be treated almost like your gods – to the extent that even when they start earning, children are conditioned to doing almost everything as per what their parents say.

    I become the bad person because I fight back if he insults me. My mother usually doesn’t see what he is doing as wrong, and always makes some excuse or the other, and eventually winds up blaming me for the way
    he acts.

    He keeps bringing up my childhood and how good I was then – mostly as a reminder that if I’m ever to be considered ‘good’ I should go back to being that obedient 6-year-old. But now I wonder if it was just because I was so scared of fights back then that I kept quiet.

    Eventually when we do begin talking again, he makes sure I recognize the entire thing as my fault – not his – and never apologizes even if he knows he’s said something hurtful. Seeing my rocky relationship with my family, I dread how I’ll bring up my kids whenever I do have them — will I want to control them like my parents did, or will I be so lax in the fear they’ll see me the same way? I really do hope I can find a middle path somewhere…I would never want my child to feel that her self-worth and self-esteem will forever be tied to what her mother or her father think, and that her opinions being different from mine means they are of no value.

    I can only hope and pray that I use my experiences as a lesson on what mistakes I could possibly make as a parent, and therefore be a bit more careful.

  • Another Anon November 19th, 2012 at 5:59 PM #46

    Thank you.
    As “the child”, the total lack of number three and number five really drives me up a wall. Being a very compliant and serve-to-please “child” I feel bad for the total lack of respect I tend to feel for my parents. However as the egotistic and stubborn equal in “human dignity”, I feel very indignant for even trying to comply to such a bipolar and detrimental parenting style.

  • illi22 December 9th, 2012 at 11:31 PM #47

    I am a combo of some of the above posts.

    I have been “disrespecting” my mother after all the shit I went through, both past and now. And I would not call this “disprespect” more of “stand up and fight for yourself” kind of thing. Yes fighting back to tell her her how she is treating other people is “disrespect”. One thing for sure, keeping quiet and obeying all the time blindly can put you in a vulnerable position as you will have no control for yourself and life. I used to do that as a teenager as I thought if I just listen, she’ll be happy. Nope! It gave her the opportunity to run me over like a toy object.

    -She gets mad at someone, she takes it out at me. I got accused and lashed out for things I haven’t even done!
    -She makes statements that isn’t even true and rants all the time, making her sound like a negative person, and makes excuses like “I’m paying for your education, I can treat you anyway I want”
    -If someone accomplishes or has a new talent, or lives life in a certain away and finds that I’m not like them, she gets upset and lashes at me. I can recount how many times I felt like throwing her out the window.
    -For one certain instance, I told her how I felt uncomfortable only to get threatened to be beaten as she thinks it gives “discipline”.

    From our culture it’s the norm, and it’s no wonder why suicide is very high in our culture. It will also cause broken relationships and resentment. Truthfully, though I don’t want to do it, she’ll have to suffer her consequences and actions if she keeps it that way. Also probably why her family is dysfunctinal.

  • MATT December 10th, 2012 at 1:03 PM #48

    I have been separated from wife and my 2 kids because I simply did not move to New York City near wife’s 2 refugee brothers who live in Montreal Canada/another man eas involved. In 1992 I traveled to Middle East and unfortunately married this idiot wife who was in the market to marry an American citizen to be able live near her 2 refugee brothers whom she had not seen for many years. Last year after I refused to move to New York she ran away with my 2 kids to a local shelter and falsely accused me in violence. To begin with I tried hard to put her in school and started English from scratch and assisted her like her personal driver & translator everywhere every day. I paid for kids’ daycare so wife could go school and get some education& sense of humor, but she was never interested in school nor one minute work in America. Finally divorce judge ordered visitation to me and she refused to let that happen and she did contempt court order then my attorney filed motion for her contempt and wife agreed to a setup of every other weekend visitation before the trail. Since I’ve got visitation about 3 months ago my kids never talked to me or answer my greetings/questions, like hi, good morning, love you, thank you etc. I am a disabled senior with Dystonia, Tardive Dyskinesia and other health conditions but me and my brother give them the best services they could get every visitation time and each time we pick them up my 16 years old daughter wanted dress and shoes for dancing $140.00& other expensive electronics and school projects and dining at expensive restaurants, they don’t want to go any fast foods or frozen foods. They never said thank you dad or brother or uncle for all treatments & what we done for them. I only receive $700.00 a month SSI&SSA because I was short 2 points to get full retirements. Wife gets all the government benefits including, food stamps =$600.00, TANF= $250.00 free housing, free utility and gets $5000.00 yearly Pell grant(recently started cosmetology class as dropped it in 1999). Wife and her brothers at Canada bribing my kids by buying/poisoning my kids mind against me and their brother from ex-American wife who is an American hero by being deployed several times since 2005 to Iraq & Afghanistan &my family. Wife’s brothers buy some games, toys and clothing for my kids and promote hatred towards me and my family. Please give me some advice. Thanks & God bless you & have a Merry Christmas& Happy New Year

  • Josie Polanco July 28th, 2013 at 11:05 PM #49

    I believe you are incorrect. You have to set an example. But you also have to be considerate of your child’s actions and emotions. It would not hurt to sit down and conversate with them what’s bothering them. And in my opinion, I do believe we are just as equal as “parents” or “adult” because one day they will be an adult, a parent, a someone. I’ll im saying is re-consider about your decisions before you see your children drifting apart from you and you lose them.

  • Troy Boyle August 27th, 2013 at 8:29 AM #50

    I disagree vehemently both with modern psychology and modern parenting. I am a traditional man and I agree with traditional parenting. Clearly defined roles and expectations. I am sick to death of hearing about this absolute conviction that modern psychology has of the emotional health of children being supported with buy-in and respect and non-coercive parenting.

    I WANT obedience in my children. Not “mutual respect.” I want and demand immediate unquestioning compliance and deference. This is the proper behavior of children. “Yes, sir.” should be their only answer until they are men and women themselves.

    I think modern psychology is breeding a nation of weak, self-interested brats. Consumerist, arrogant, lazy “what’s in it for me?” types. When I look across history, the generation that I admire most is the generation that served in World War II. Selfless, respectful, men and women that did what was right when it was needed. And they were raised with the child-rearing methods of the 1920s.

    Today’s crop of self-centered authority-averse “psychologically healthy” adults wouldn’t have stood a chance. We’d have failed and all be learning about how Hitler won the war.

  • John Petersen August 27th, 2013 at 12:27 PM #51

    Thanks for the leaving the comment, Troy. I guess your first two sentences say it all. In many ways that is the end of the discussion.

    Two observations for the rest of those reading. One, this notion of mutual respect within families and the research on it predates WWII. Second, Troy’s comments are less than respectful.

  • Kelly October 12th, 2013 at 8:16 PM #52

    I’m 17, and have good parents that I can respect. I can’t say I can automatically give respect to other adults in my society, though, because of their attitude and logic. They’re nothing like my parents.
    I know a lot of young people who were bullied or have parents that ignore them, and it really irritates me when adults angrily (and noisily!) demand respect, even when their kid is depressed, and assume that “all kids have it easy these days.” They don’t even take the time to find out whether their kid is being bullied or has about 4 APs to study for (it’s pretty common in my school to have that many APs). And the bullied kids often suffer because not only do the adults in school barely help, they’re also more prone to disagreements with parents since they’re more sensitive to what people say. Parents out there, please think twice before calling your kid a brat if he’s had a bad day, cause something might be happening that you don’t know about.
    There’s also the fact that a lot of people I know have been trying their best to earn good grades, playing football to the best of their ability, and some hoping to earn a little respect from their peers and family. There’s always that one parent who’s never satisfied with that, and that can really damage someone’s self esteem.
    I hope the people reading the comments see this, cause I want young people and their parents to get along better, not be torn apart because of misunderstanding and a misinterpretation of respect. Thank you so much, if you read this :)

  • J November 25th, 2013 at 8:44 PM #53

    I am sixteen years old. My parents are divorced and have two very different ways of dealing with me. My mother has, over time, begun to focus on the relationship rather than having power and being an figure of authority. My father, on the other hand, has always been very focused upon power, and as such treats me badly whenever we have a disagreement. He might be older than me, but judging from our previous interactions and his childishness (he gives me the silent treatment) I have come to believe that i am the adult in our relationship. Are there any suggestions on how to bring about change?

  • CeCe November 25th, 2013 at 10:09 PM #54

    You know what, Troy. Try living like a kid because apparently you don’t know what it’s like. We have our bad days and come home to parents DEMANDING us to do things for them. We can’t help but say no, then we get grounded because we were being “sassy”. We are people too. You parents don’t own us. We control ourselves, YOU don’t. We need equal respect with child and adult. Not just, us children treat you like royalty and listen to every command you demand. If you really knew what it’s like then your opinion would drastically change. Try living in our shoes for once. No we shouldn’t have to call you sir. Just because your “grown up” little adult doesn’t mean you have all rights. News flash; last time I checked you guys didn’t rule the world. I got really opiniontive I don’t care what you say. You guys are disrespectful to us too.

  • Logic Rules December 5th, 2013 at 12:25 PM #55

    There are two kinds of respect. First, there is the kind that all human beings are due regardless of their chraacteristics or behaviour. This is what I call basic respect and entails not inflicting harm or abusing others, respecting dignity, and so on. Second, there is the kind of respect that is earned, that compels us to do more for certain individuals, to trust them, perhaps to do as they request, and so on. Of course children are automatically entitled to the former, but may only earn some aspects of the latter – a child who lies is not to be trusted and a child who proves honest will earn that trust, but no child will be obeyed. However, I find that children are oft denied the first kind of respect as they are treated like property and not persons by their parents and by society. It is not respectful to use corporal punishment on children (it would be assault on any other human being), it is not respectful to shout and scream at a child, and it is nkt respectful to use demeaning language. And I find it curious that parents think that it is logically possible to teach children universal respect for others if they do not show even the most basic respect for the child (a rule is not universal if the child is an exception, ergo the rule is false and don’t think the chikd doesn’t see such deceptions and injustices), unless, of course, they terrorize the child into obedience, in which case the lesson learned is not respect – it is that power and fear rule relationships and that the more powerful person has the right to use said power to dominate.

  • MARY C December 6th, 2013 at 9:26 PM #56

    Children are an inhertitance from the Lord. A parent is to give unconditionall love both in word and deed. And children are to honor their mother and father so that they their days may be blessed. These are not our choices but God plan of order that bring him Glory and us the blessings due to obedience.

  • Lois1117 December 18th, 2013 at 2:16 PM #57

    I was reading your post and thought I could help. first of all it is wonderful that your mom has decided to work on your relationship. I am the mother of three children. I pretty much raised all my children the same. but they are individuals, none like the other. my boys are 3836, and my daughter is 25, she has not had an easy run of things, and picked the wrong type of men to date, pretty much leaving her abused. I wish to God that you would stop treating me like they treated her. my boys never did that to me. if someone is calling you names and as an adult, that doesn’t show a very good thing for a child. try to sit down and talk to him. don’t yell tell him how this makes you . I hope it gets better for you Lois

  • Lois1117 December 18th, 2013 at 2:25 PM #58

    I must say I agree with a lot of your believes in raising children. as I was raised by a World War 2 vet. a wonderful man but firm, you let you know from the very beginning. not to ask him more than one time, I had a very wonderful childhood. I did not get to be the parent nor did I want to be. I knew who was in charge and it was not me. kids nowadays do feel we owe them so much. back in those days though there wasn’t so many broken homes. there was a man to stand behind a woman. A team, my father discipline does not my mother. I have race 3 children, my boys 38 and 36 how about we showed me respect.On the other hand I have had trouble with my daughter, and still do. I know she is 25 but when I’m in a store with her and ask her to stop talking, in a way I find offensive I believe she should stop.She I believe she can be who she is, I don’t know if we will ever get along. but I have to commend you, on your honesty.The wishy washy parents, get wishy washy kids. thank you Loisl

  • Mohamed M December 22nd, 2013 at 2:58 PM #59

    kyle, EVEN IF YOU HAD A GOOD OR BAD CHILDHOOD THEY’RE YOUR PARENTS, when your mum was giving birth to you did you ever think of the pain she felt, did you ever have any good times with them, they’re trying so hard and striving till the day you grow up and can stand on your feet. You see ever parent has this natural feeling to care for thier child, GOD gave them this feeling. YOU SHOULD RESPECT THEM, go ask people without parents and ask them how much they want thier parents back. OVERALL you should show kindness to your parents always and never attitude. show respect to people older tham you as they have more knowledge of life than you. If you want to search youtube soldierofallah2 your mother and then your father. If your a person whos willing to see what the QURAN says about parents then search google its up to you

  • Angela January 27th, 2014 at 1:54 PM #60

    How can my niece and nephew realiZed how their father who didn’t treat right to my sister. The kids don’t respect their mother and full support father. Father already brain washed to kids when they were kids. Now they are in college. I am trying not to hurt kids feeling how their father is bad to us. It made us sad that they are blind about their father who always deny on everything. He pointing us a lot wrong things however look at himself too. I know all I have to let it go and someday kids will wake up and realized how father who didn’t treat ex wifey and family in laws. I want rebonds with my niece and nephew.

  • Karey February 27th, 2014 at 8:48 AM #61

    I agree completely with you. I am 36 raising two girls 18 and 13. My dad worked we did get the opportunity to ask why we had to do what he said. He would beat, not spank us, I am sooo glad we got that diseplin from him. I have 3 biological brothers and sisters raised by my mom and dad and a half brother whom was raised by grandparents. He has been in and out of prison since he was 18. He is now 38 and I highly believe it’s because he controlled his home. We as parents have to teach our children what the real world is about. As adults you work your whole life, you are told what to do, you don’t get to go to work and dictate what your going to do. You have speed limits that are required by the law. You don’t get to change them to fit your needs. Teachers put together assignments, you don’t get to pick and choose what work you want to do. Kids today think parents owe them. Well news flash people, America is falling fast because we have ALLOWED our children to dictate our parenting and our rights of parenting. If children get in trouble with the law, parents are held accountable. The law has taken our rights from us and given them to the children. I don’t agree with beating your children, but spanking them shouldn’t be a bad thing. There are always consequences in not doing as your told, let us teach our children, let us raise our children to be good, respectful adults.

  • Karey February 27th, 2014 at 8:52 AM #62

    Sorry that was we did not get to ask why

  • Mark S April 7th, 2014 at 9:42 PM #63

    That is the smartest thing I’ve heard today.

  • Sick of it April 13th, 2014 at 8:09 PM #64

    I’m 21 years old and due to being sexually abused by another student at 13 (which my parents are unaware of), and then later abused at 20 in the same manner. This sent off my insecurities until I became suicidal. I have been battling depression since and ended up in counseling at school. Despite this, I go to college, work hard to get paid internships, and try to manage my finances. My main support comes from my family. My parents made a deal that’d they’d loan me a certain amount for me to pay back after I graduated and got a job.

    The problem is, my blind respect for them as a child has made them think my respect should be a guarantee since they help me with college. Since my depression went downhill, my health, and some of my flawless GPA followed. I ended up managing 2 surgeries between my senior year.

    I still managed to get two very good paid internships and both times I financially supported myself until I went back to school. My family has yet to ask about my mental issues, though they know I struggled and am seeing a therapist. I’d like them to take an interest but they insist on using financial threats to control every area of my life if I don’t do as they say. They literally think they own me with that money.

    A reoccurring one is my boyfriend of a year, who is largely responsible for healing many of my self-worth issues. Everything I have done and battled from is very worthy of respect. And this is the one luxury my parents will not give me. I am frequently not good enough for their them, grades, health, money, job, or my choice of boyfriend. My therapist tells me much of my emotional inadequacy began at the abuse and compiled with every event at home that reinforced this notion that “Nobody cares for you or will ever help you when you need them.”

    To all those “I DEMAND RESPECT” vomit messages, f*** you people that extort and force respect from children. I used to respect my family when they treated me as worth something, but the new message is that “I am never good enough for their approval.”

    If it hadn’t had been for my own strength to get help on my own, I’d have killed myself by now. They wouldn’t even have a daughter to extort respect from.

    You NEVER completely know what is going on in your kid’s life unless you make an active effort to know, respect, and love them. So cut the s*** and treat them like human beings, and not like your underling spawn.

  • zera May 2nd, 2014 at 7:12 PM #65

    If,you say that children should and must obey their parents just because of their authority,are you trying to say that because of this,child abuse is justified?That child trafficking is justified?Before they are your children,they are fellow human beings.If all you are going to do is continuously demand their obedience and respect just because you are their parents,what difference would it be from communism?You do not like others doing that to you either,so do not do that to your child.

  • John Doe May 9th, 2014 at 11:19 PM #66

    You need help. Not from a therapist. You need help from God. Parents want what is best for their children so that you can be on your own soon. We as parents, would hate to be wiping your butt until you’re 40. Grow up and respect your parents. They have better things to do and think of besides trying to control your every move. Until you learn to respect them, you will never be a great person. That is true no matter how successful you are.

  • sands May 13th, 2014 at 1:46 PM #67

    To teach your children respect you should show it and expect it in return. So yes when they disrespect you or others they should be pulled up for it, but if you set a good example then they will understand what it is your asking from them. Don’t you think you may have taken this to an extreme? Yes I demand respect from my kids, but I get it because I show them and others around me respect. They learn from my example and because they are still children and are still learning it is up to me to teach them and correct them when they are wrong. I’m a Mum that’s my job.

  • John Petersen May 13th, 2014 at 5:39 PM #68

    Sands,

    THank you for your comment. You make very good points. I do not think I have taken this to the extreme. Recall the context is families where disrespect is high on the parent’s list of problems. They demand the child change before the parent. A position of power is not enough to gain respect if respect is damaged in the relationship. I think you likely are speaking from a position where respect isn’t damaged and you are already giving respect. In that situation, I agree it is important to speak up when you are disrespected. It is best to speak up about the hurt that causes you.

    Thanks again for your comment.

  • Julian June 18th, 2014 at 9:41 AM #69

    I agree but I don’t a agree the human being deserves mutual respect. As for children yes they should respect their parents but parents should show them how to respect by treating them with respect first and parents including being overpowering because it will backfire in their faces. GOD guide you all including me if He is so willing.

  • Davon June 20th, 2014 at 4:28 AM #70

    Oh yeah, I also forgot to say that some time after the argument, if I think it is my fault when the argument is ongoing then it is easier for me to accept my mistakes. But doesn’t it get to your nerves, oh children and parents alike, to be blamed for something you didn’t do?

  • lou June 20th, 2014 at 2:51 PM #71

    My child is 13 in a few weeks. I’ve had a lot of problems with him startin from refusing to go to school to smashing up the house. Of course he is noisy, but I have other smaller children that are in bed when he is doing this and he does it more to wake them which is tireing on its own, let alone the damege and playing up. I ignore him a lot of the time and punish when he calms down. Also today he had an out burst so I told him I’m sellin his counsel to pay for the damage. This will start up again tomorrow no doubt. I’m stuck, I don’t know how to stop him and not involve the police. He is my son as much I want him out sometimes. Helpppp.

  • vina July 4th, 2014 at 9:44 AM #72

    Your right i am 17 and i realize you can’t do anything without god and listen to the first command honor thy father and mother. But when your mother doesn’t even act like a mother. Calls you names: b**ch, etc doesn’t go to church over 5 years its so hard to do that. So don’t think she’s being selfish because some parents were not mature yet neither has finished maturing.

  • vina July 4th, 2014 at 9:59 AM #73

    That Does not mean verbally abusing them and hurting there feelings but instructions expected and giving them your best because of it .

  • Katie July 16th, 2014 at 11:15 PM #74

    My dad does not respect me at all. Im 17 years old and I yearn for the day that i can finally pack my things and leave. I want to be treate like the young lady i am and not a servant. His idea of kids is free house maids for 18 years. I do what i am told because he is my father and i honestly have no problem doing chores. My problem is how he treats me. He claims i do nothing around the house and all i do is sit on my phone all day. I wonder who he thinks does his laundry and how dishes magically appear clean after he tells me to do them. He hits me for the dumbest reasons and he yells at me and he actually try’s to make me feel bad about myself. Im contemplating never talking to him after i move out. We got into a huge fight because i told him i wanted respect but he told me im not his equal i am his child. Im 17 years old i take care of myself and the rest of my family

  • Marianne July 21st, 2014 at 4:43 PM #75

    I am so saddened as I read your story. First, you should not be abused by your parent. Hitting is not allowed. It is considered abuse. You don’t mention a mother. Is she alive? Or are your parents divorced? Since you are living home, I would agree some chores should be taken on to show responsibility. You shouldn’t have the burden of cooking, cleaning and being a full time maid. Your fathers treatment is not healthy for your self esteem. Value yourself and never let a man raise a hand to you. You have that choice. Say no to abuse. I hope you turn 18 soon. I hope you don’t suffer further abuse from your father, if you do please see a school counselor or someone you can trust. Department of Children & Families could be an online resource. They will take action and you most likely would be removed from the hostile environment you are living within. Keep your spirits up. Please do not allow being abused by any man, or woman. Seek someone you can trust to talk to, find a job and save your money. Best of luck to you.

  • Katie E. July 28th, 2014 at 12:24 PM #76

    I totally agree to what you have stated above. In my culture, respect is demanded by elders, which me and my sister do not like. We recently have an argument with our mom and aunties about respect. When we tried to explain our side they got mad at us for disrespecting them. Aside from that, my sister, 17, is starting to show dislike towards them that whenever they lecture her, she gets angry and responds in a manner that again, show more disrespectfulness according to them. I want to be that bridge between them and my sister because I believe that these are miscommunications that when not resolved properly, may cause a dilemma.

  • Ellie August 5th, 2014 at 12:11 PM #77

    I am 22, i used to feel i have the best mom on earth until few months back when i realized my mom loves me but has always disrespected me. She isn’t having confidence in me, takes me for granted, abuses me verbally, feels i am worthless and now i am facing the cousin rivalry, she ridicules at me in front of my relatives. I am tired of explaining her things and proving myself. The only way out of this is getting separated from her and i don’t wanna do this. Need help

  • Kay August 8th, 2014 at 3:09 PM #78

    Hi!

    I totally relate to yr story. I am 33 and I just discovered how abusive my mother was and still is. It makes me miserable and depressed. I should probably leave far away but I just can’t.
    I would love to interact with u and have mutual support !

  • Ellie August 15th, 2014 at 9:25 AM #79

    I am able to ignore such things but sometimes i really cant. I have stopped sharing things with her, i hardly speak to her now. I tried to explain her dat though i am younger to her, i too need respect but in response she only made fun of me. Since my childhood though i have been good at studies i never felt i was, all i wanted was my mom to confirm this fact which she never did.Coz of all this i never felt confidence in anything. I don’t know how to explain my point to her. I am extremely close to her, i cant afford to lose her.

  • Estelle September 9th, 2014 at 4:36 AM #80

    Oh , I have so much to say to some of you kids . I was abused mentally and physically as a child and adult by my mother, my father stood with his hand up in the air, like I cannot do anything . My siblings never cared. I got married , happy family. But still what she could do to me she would, with them waiting on. Father got 4 stage cancer, not one of them would take care him , so who to,took care him for 5 years 12to 24 hr days. After he died the three of them used me , humiliated , said horrible thing to me. All the horrible years then this I had to disconnect from them. To my biggest surprise and pain , my own family, husband an daughter went against me ,,I was broken . I was diagizoded wih Ptsd . How do you like that, they knew what was done to me ;

  • Chris B. September 11th, 2014 at 8:19 PM #81

    Hey guys. I don’t talk about this much. I never got anything out of it. But my mother played with my minjd. She put her hands on me. I was young. I’ve called the cops and went out of my way to tell people was going on. But my mom was a public speaker. She knows how to eff with you and get away with it. She’s a freaking mastermind. I always ended up back with her eventually because she somehow got people to think I was insane and it was all in my head. The only people who know are my brothers only because she made them lie to the police when I called them for help after bashing my head into the bedframe for turning my back on her when she told my that Jesus was sending me to hell. Today I’m 20 years old. I live with my dad in New York, how you ask? I simply got older and left on my own. My dad knows deep inside AND I KNOW THIS, That my mom was fucking insane. But he lets me going on that I was the one in the wrong. My littlest brother moved in last year claiming my mother hit im with the medal handle of a broom. He had the bruise to prove so. My middle brother knows what happened to me but lives with my mother both claiming I’m a crazy, pathological liar. They get along just find. Over the years I tackled to get the truth out, I even went to multiple therapists but it never worked for me. It drove me into deep depression to the point I was suicidal. I went through four winds. At this point I stayed silent. I told people what happened in one sentence “My mother abused me.” That’s it. I would get mad and ignore when people questioned it. I just went back to silence. 4 weeks later they let me go. After I had an issue with my dad because he kept coming in demanding I show respect to his girlfriend like she was my freaking mother. He claims she does so much. I played the your right I’m sorry I love you Lisa game. Thats my dads girl. When I got out things got bad real quick. I never really noticed Lisa and my dad holds it against me. I started smoking weed, Lisa hated it. My dad started trying to force me to do it his way or leave. I was 18 in high school. I said no. He told me to get out and don’t come back. I said no. And got in his face. I was drunk. He punched me in the face, and grabbed me in a choke hold. I tried to just push him off saying get off me. But he just said stop fighting until I hit the floor. I looked up at him and said I thought you were my father. And he said yeah well I thought you were my son. I left the next day. I eventually graduated High School and went back to my mom. At this point my mom never touched me. But she still let me knew that I better keep quiet. In my mind she threatin me or else she would make me look like someone I’m not. After two weeks I had to leave because my mom tried using me to get money out of my dad but he refused to pay. He called me and told me he didn’t think I would graduate High School and he would take me in as long as I stay home. Never go see friends, respect them. And go to a school they have set up for learning a trade….now I know it’s good for me but I don’t want to go. It terrifies me. I don’t know why I think ita being around all these xities kids in one school. I’ve been bullied before. As of most people. I tried talking to my dad. But he said no your going. They put me on medication I recently stop taking it after learning it was by force. I said dad I’m not taking these, and I dropped it in the trash. He lost it and kept saying who do you think you are. I have one week to leave. But this time I didn’t leave and he hasen’t said anything about it. I went to him after a couple weeks and said something about it. He said if you don’t want to take it than fine…..thats about it I’m waiting to go to the school now to start my own life and get away from this hell….and to be honest with you guys this is the most I’ve ever said and probably the only one in a long time. I don’t know how I do it. I always thinks about how easier itd be to just boom* shoot myself in the head. Itd be the only way I would do it. But I haven’t done it. Somehow I stuck with my life and I’m still going. I guess hope keeps me going…..thanks if you read. Hopefully someone will understand me one day. Bye guys. Never give up

  • anna September 16th, 2014 at 8:11 AM #82

    should parent’s be friends with children and they just act like parent’s ???????

  • Katie September 24th, 2014 at 10:07 AM #83

    Please share this link and ask your friends to share. Our journey has just begun but the message is already so big and so powerful helping kids who have completed the workbook and awakening their love and strength within. Our mission is to create a world where our children “Lovemore and Fearless” and how we need to do this is by bringing it in to our education system and supporting our children to come together and recognize how we love our self ultimately reflects how others treat us. Instead of separating the bully and the bullied and having the parents deal with the situation, bring the two children together in school and make them have to work together for 2 days and complete a small essay on how similar they really are. “I Lovemore Fearless” education piece teachers outline for grades 3 to 5 is almost done meeting all curriculum requirements. Please share and help us print, produce and get this message into all our schools and programs. Lets stop the increasing suicide rates and depression and anxiety our children are now battling more than ever.
    ilovemorefearless.com
    Blessings, Katie
    We are whole, we are complete, we are perfect most of all we are “LOVE”

  • max October 2nd, 2014 at 7:47 AM #84

    Just another article of how to build kids self esteem/ It’s all hogwash/ Thw only thing in this article is developing a relationship with kids. Problem is that too many adults, have this idea that ‘oh no our poor children need empathy and they need understanding for leacing food in their roo for the 200th time. Or for lying for the millionth time because they want mor time on their iphone. Kids have it so good now a days and look at all the problem especially with the schools. kids doing violence at school and parents , officials and police all say the same poppycock crap…. Lets help them, build them up and dont punish too harshly. Garbage Garbage Garbage, its the DR spock Soccer Mom society of rasing up a bunch of little foul mouth self centered facebook brat kids who are pulling the wool over everyone so it becomes all about them and zero about responsibilty. A belt, a bible, a hug, and a parayer and good probelm solving is whats needed today to get rid of this tween narcisistic teen run homes when it needs to be Parent run HOMES… love is important but too much of it and you;; raise a siisy named tyler who combs his hair like beiber and listens to marilyn manson records and niki minaj-good luck to all the passive parents-ill never be one.

  • John Petersen October 2nd, 2014 at 10:12 AM #85

    Max,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Allow me a few points in response:

    Love is not lax and permissive.

    Relationship building is essential but not in iteself sufficient.

    See points 2, 3, 5, and 7 in my article. I think they speak to the fears you have about permissive parenting.

    Many parts of your comments come across as condescending and contemptuous (disrespectful) and obscure some possibly important words of caution you were offering. In many ways I think you just confirmed the main thrust of the article – respectful engagement is essential.

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