It means everything. Without respect we lose ourselves as human beings and it is only downhill from there. I am always grateful and touched when someone points out how respectful my children are, or comments on their good behavior, because it’s validation that we must be doing something right in how we are raising them. Don’t get me wrong, my kids aren’t angels, but they seem to understand respect. Some of their friends however…..
I want my house to be the house that the kids come and hang out at after school. That’s purely selfish mind you, because it means I get to keep an eye on them and also listen in on their chatter a bit, too. I also believe that when you are present in your kids’ lives and make eye contact with their friends, the respect you require (and deserve) is easier to communicate.
I’ll set the scene for you. Four teenaged boys, hanging out and giggling, playing on the PS4. Some munching on junky fast food, others munching on homemade grilled cheese sandwiches. One kid had to leave for a bit, but he was heading back shortly. I’m now in my office, and it’s great to hear them all laughing and having a good time. I eventually hear the front door open and all the kids holler out to the boy who had now returned from his errand. Hmmmm, what hadn’t I heard? There was definitely something missing from the scene. So, out I went into the living room where I welcomed the boy back. Then I asked “Did you knock or ring the doorbell when you just came in?” In that instant, he had realized his mistake and he willingly admitted that he knocked but hadn’t waited for anyone to answer and basically waltzed right in to someone else’s home. With that, I smiled, and thanked him for being honest. I told him I wanted him to always feel welcome, however, in the future, please respect me and my home, and knock or ring the doorbell and wait to be let in. He got it, because he smiled back and said he was sorry. Within two minutes, maybe less, I was able to clearly state my needs, and this young man, will now go out in the world, and hopefully think twice before he enters someone’s home. It’s that easy!!! We all need to be on the same page here though, or our kids will have no hope. I am happy to share my wisdom of respect with all the kids who pass through my doors (after ringing the bell, of course), but I can’t do it alone!! Oh, and it’s not always about calling out bad behavior or wrong choices, the message really hits home when you can say to a child “Thank you for being a polite and respectful guest.” Positive reinforcement is great, and if it comes in a teachable moment, even better!
Totems are respected in many cultures for their symbolism and power. We respect Totems because they help keep us calm. If you need a Totem, just click on any of the Totems on the left and get one today!