My oldest son and I have been going around about the idea of respect. I tell him to do something and he, being bigger than mom is and ever so much wiser, determines that he most certainly will NOT do what mom asks.
And the circle begins.
It happened again this Sunday after church. A little mouth, a lot of disrespect and I am left scratching my head about what I can do to make a difference.
“You now owe me an essay on respect. I need to know what I can do to help you understand and give respect to those around you.” I told him before drove home.
“No.” The circle continued.
I brought dad into the discussion and explained what had happened and what I had requested of his son. “If he does not provide the essay then he is grounded.” I explained. My husband backed me up, but he did sit down with our oldest and help him work through some thoughts for the essay.
My son has a way with words, sometimes even a good way with words, but this essay told me a LOT.
“Respect is something that has to be earned. It must be given if it is going to be received.”
I have thought over his words in this essay a lot recently, and I have been watching the people in his life to see where he has learned this.
- There are days when I snap back at their dad, but I have tried to learn to save any thoughts I have for behind closed doors. They need to see me respecting their dad.
- There are days when the annoying “Microsoft” person calls me from India for the hundredth time and I get hot under the collar. I am learning to shift that energy and have started reading out loud to him from Psalms. It is good for all of us.
- There are days when someone says something or does something in a group or public setting that sets my ears on fire and everything in me wants to voice my viewpoint, but I am learning to breathe deep and think on it first (or I am attempting to learn it, anyway).
- There are days when they . . .
I could list a whole book of indiscretions and rude attitudes perpetuated around me in the day. I could point fingers and name names. But that would not be respectful, and that is what this is all about after all.
My children are encountering individuals that are not the image of respect that they need to be in order to be the example they should be to those around them. There are many days when I could be included in that list. But I have to continue to show my children that these people should be respected not because they deserve it, but because I deserve it. By giving respect, I build respect in myself for myself and for my choice.
I will continue to grow me and hope that in growing me my boys will grow to be respectful and respected men.