Respecting Our Parents – Adults Included

respect

Whether we’re fifteen years old or fifty, our parents should be respected. That is one area of life, among many, where age does not apply. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that concept. Many have become over-familiar with their parents, forgetting who they are and speaking to them just as they would anyone else.

Our parents can be our friends, but first and foremost they are our parents. They should never be spoken to with disrespect or treated inconsiderately. My mother, for example, is one of my closest friends, yet I do not treat her as I would just any other friend. We joke around and have a good time, but there is a limit to my behavior and the words that I speak to her.

Our parents are also not our children. They should not be scolded for their actions or choices. They should never be yelled at or belittled. We may not always agree with them, but they are still the parent. We are not. Therefore, we do not have the right to treat them as any less than that. Whether we agree with them or not, they deserve our respect. There are ways to express how we feel, and ways not to.

Parents should not be made to fear their children. They should never be threatened, or even worse, abused by them. Abuse can go both ways.

Admittedly, not every home is a good home and some people have, or have had to grow up in horrible living situations. In those cases, separation may be the only answer. If no common ground can be found, sometimes it’s better to create distance, than to continueΒ  being hurt by one another.

But, that situation does apply to most. Most children (no matter what their age) have caring parents who love them dearly and try to do what’s best for them, yet they seem to forget what their roles are.

Parents have to endure a lot, and some have made great sacrifices for their children. Being a parent is not easy, whether the child is still living at home or not. It is a lifelong job that deserves to be honored. No matter how old we get, their role as parents should always be respected, and so should they.

We all make mistakes and sometimes let our emotions speak for us, but we have also been given the ability to apologize. Let’s not forget to do that, for one day it will be too late.

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29 Responses to Respecting Our Parents – Adults Included

  1. A good reminder for me, and everyone.

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  2. Um…..this is a touchy topic actually and your statements are so definite. I guess I’m looking at the other side of this coin……as you said not everyone grew up in ideal families….I know some of these people and in their case, I think distance is a much better idea. Still, as you said….in most cases, this is a very solid idea and especially your last sentence doesn’t just apply to parents. Value those who you respect every moment and make it the very best it can be for all concerned! πŸ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      You’re absolutely right about distance. Sometimes that is the best option, especially if no reconciliation can be found. There are many scenarios and this certainly doesn’t apply to all. This is mainly a reminder to those who forget who the parent is because of over-familiarity. Agreed – everyone should be valued.

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      • Am so glad you took that in the spirit it was intended. πŸ™‚ I hadn’t actually thought about overfamiliarity before I read your post. That is a very good point!

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        • mewhoami says:

          I try to have an open mind and take into account the opinions and thoughts of others. That’s how we learn, right? πŸ™‚ Thank you very much for your comment. I made a small change about distance sometimes being the only answer. Hopefully that will help the post be a little less definite.

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  3. DailyMusings says:

    It is true that many over step the parent/ child boundaries, the parent as friend lines become blurred. I think it is a personal decision that differs for many, for some the parent has no issue with being treated as an equal to their child. When a parent is elderly very often the roles become reversed, and it can be challenging to maintain that child/parent relationship, especially if the parent has dementia, or becomes less able. I do believe children should be taught to have respect for people older than them, not just parents, but once they have reach adulthood in reality things can change. It was not until I was in my 40’s that I was able to see my mother through adult eyes, and frankly I was not happy with what I saw. I do not think respect need be unconditional, just because a parent is a parent. Life is not so neat. Just my personal opinion. πŸ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      There are definitely many different situations and circumstances that could be taken into account. As you said also, not every relationship is the same and has the same expectations. Like you, I see my mother with adult eyes now. She may not be as perfect as she was in my child-eyes, yet I still show her the same respect. I think that there is a big difference in agreeing with a person and respecting them. A person can not agree, yet still respect. In my opinion, everyone deserves to be treated with respect. We don’t have to like them or what they do, but we shouldn’t treat them badly. I’m reminded of – “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”
      Sometimes our parents make mistakes, but so do we.

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      • DailyMusings says:

        I think my issue is with the use of the word “respect” The definition of respect is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” Am I polite to my mother yes, do I respect her, not so much. I was taught to be polite to people and that is my nature, being rude is never the way to behave. So maybe it is just semantics, what is considered being respectful and how that presents itself.

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        • mewhoami says:

          Using that definition, I agree with you. Not everyone can be admired. Some people ruin that pretty early in life. For this post, I was thinking more along the lines of the other definition “to treat or deal with someone in a proper way.” That to me can be accomplished no matter who the person is. We can be polite, then walk away. I can tell by your posts that you were raised to be polite and compassionate towards others. That is a wonderful thing to learn.

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  4. I enjoyed your post, and the comments and responses. I love good dialogue between people. Especially when there are differences, and handled with decorum and class. Nicely done here. Respect is a beautiful thing. Those who truly master it, master a great many things, I believe.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Glad that you enjoyed it. The dialogue is one part of blogging that’s so enjoyable, especially when it’s done in a friendly manner. That’s a great show of respect in itself. I believe that you are right about respect. It’s a wonderful and needful thing to practice, better yet – to master.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Important words for everyone to read. A great reminder. It is so important to show respect for our parents, so true at any age!

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  6. stormy1812 says:

    Sadly, my mom and I had a tough summer last year for various reasons and we can have some nasty blow up fights for which later, we both apologize, etc. I agree with you completely though that it shouldn’t be like that. It’s just when the communication breaks down that’s when things get bad. I work very hard not to do that anymore because I don’t want our last words to each other to ever be out of spite or anger. this also makes me think of that movie “Parenthood,” with Steve Martin. Fabulous film! Jason Robards’ character says it best about always being a parent. It’s so true. Great post! πŸ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      I don’t think there’s anyone out there who has not had a spat with their mother. Emotions rise and words are said, many of which we later regret. It’s wonderful that you both are willing to apologize and to reconcile. You’re right about not wanting to your last words to each other to be out of anger. I don’t know that many people consider that and if they do it is forgotten during the heat of the moment. That’s a lesson we should all learn – those words could be our last.

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  7. Dave says:

    I agree. I have watched many people show their parents out of their lives in many different ways. I have also watched loving families who care for parents with dementia in spite of the fact that their parents no longer even recognize them.
    Call it fate, karma, or learned behaviors, but I believe that many will come to regret the neglect and disrespect of their parents when the roles are reversed and they are older.

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    • mewhoami says:

      You said that very well, and I completely agree with you. One day we will be treated in the same manner as we treat others, whether that be good or bad. Our kids are watching us. Do we want to be a bad example to them about how to treat parents? Then what will stop them from treating us the same way? Children learn by example. Better to stop the cycle now than to let it continue.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. April says:

    Every person deserves a certain level of respect, unless proven unworthy. Respect isn’t something that can be demanded (as my parents believed), it has to be earned.I have a good, comfortable relationship with my kids, but there is an obvious imaginary line of parent/child. I don’t know…I fought with my parents all the time. I was beaten and grounded all the time. I wasn’t allowed to think for myself.

    We didn’t raise our kids the same way we were, and I can probably count on one hand the number of serious arguments, rebellious actions, or defiance from all three of my kids. So, I suppose they respect us because we respected them as little developing individuals.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I completely agree with that. Kids respect those who respect them. It is much easier to respect people when they treat you the same way.

      I also agree that respect can’t be demanded, but it should be something that we strive to do. We can walk away, disagree and not even like a person, but we can do so in a way that is still respectful (not treating them badly in the process). I don’t know… that’s just my opinion. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with issues and I certainly wouldn’t expect everyone to agree.

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      • April says:

        I understand what you are saying. The rude person treating another badly, showing little respect. I walk away from that, in a way you are talking about (not treating them badly in the process). I think if we all treat each other with kindness, being careful with our words, respect shouldn’t be an issue. I can be kind to all, but there are some who have destroyed my respect for them by their own actions. In order for me to respect them, they have to earn it through their actions. My first thought regarding each and every person I meet is that they are nice, kind, compassionate people…until they prove me wrong.

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        • April says:

          Respectfully, I think we’re talking about the same thing. I just call it kindness. I can be kind to people I don’t respect, because that’s what makes me me. As far as my kids, I treat them as I want to be treated because I know they may have to take care of me or choose the home they send me to. πŸ˜€ While I may not have controlled them, like my parents controlled me in order to gain respect, I know that I have earned their respect and they know that there is a difference between friends and *parent friends*.

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        • mewhoami says:

          It’s certainly important to give a person a fair chance first. Some people just make mistakes (every now and then), where others seem to be ongoing. I think that overall, most people are good.

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