It was obvious that I would parent my kids completely opposite as I was parented. Not that I thought my parents did a poor job, I simply grew up in a different era. I went with what I felt was right for me. I’m pretty positive my parents, in-laws, and some of my friends questioned my style, but it worked, and that’s all that counts.
My parents are Southerners. Actually, I’m not sure if West Virginia is considered the actual South, because I’m not positive where they draw their lines between Yankee and Rebel. However, my mom is from North Carolina.
To this day, southern born parents insist on kids calling the parents of friends by Mr. or Mrs. X. Ma’am, and Sir are a must while addressing an adult. When answering a question, it’s no ma’am, or yes ma’am…..
Of course, we believed that please and thank you were important lessons, but we showed our kids how to be respectful—instead of demanding respect. While we taught our kids to call the parents of their friends, Mr. or Mrs. X, if the parents were fine with a first name basis, that was fine with us. But, we lived in what the Southerners refer to as Hippie Land. Most of my kids’ friends called me April—until we moved to the south. Oh how awkward it was for them to use my first name. I didn’t insist.
I remember talking to the family of one of our youngest’s friends. The mom said something to the child about thanking Mrs. X (or they can use Miss April) for the hospitality. I said,”oh he can call me April”. I was immediately corrected that he would be calling me Mrs. X.
Okay, that’s fine, I respect that.
However, there is one thing that is stuck in my craw.
Earning respect, or demanding respect.
This isn’t a North vs South thing, as I have experienced it in the Motherland as well. Why do some people figure respect isn’t earned? One must demand respect–especially from a spouse.
(let’s see….how many times can April use the word respect in a paragraph or blog post)
If we want respect, shouldn’t we pay respect?
If a person is with a partner who doesn’t respect them, shouldn’t the disrespected spouse/partner respect themselves enough to leave the relationship?
I believe that in order to receive kindness, love, or respect, we must give the same in return.
Is this just a misuse of words? The words demand and earn have the same meaning to some?
Meh—I know that I will continue to strive to earn the respect of all. I’m only demanding of myself.