Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are kids worthy of respect?

This is something I've been thinking about lately and just wanted to put out there to share with whoever happens to read my blog...all 3 of you. ***snicker snicker***

Dakota just turned 13. That is a hard age for any 13-yr-old. Because Dakota has always been homeschooled and never gone to public school and because he has 5 much older brothers/sisters and four sets of grandparents he has been around adults his entire life. That's not to say he doesn't have friends his own age, he has several friends he plays with regularly and he has never had any problem hanging out with kids.

The problem comes with adults. He is so used to his family treating him with respect and allowing him to do and think for himself. When we are "out in the world" and I'm trying to teach him things or I take him with me on jobs so I can teach him skills that may be useful later on, it's so frustrating when an adult looks at Dakota and sees a "kid" and forms an opinion like "oh great, a bratty kid to deal with" and is not helpful or completely overlooks him BECAUSE he's a kid! Grrrr, I get so frustrated with this!

Trying to teach him skills of how to ask questions politely and find out information only to be met with a rude, obnoxious adult who quite obviously doesn't want to be bothered by a "child"...just burns me up! Then the next time we are faced with this situation Dakota is scared to ask questions or go pay for something...because of the ignorant adult he had to deal with the previous time. Unfortunately, Dakota is a people pleaser so he takes things like this to heart - it weighs heavily on him, therefore weighing heavily on me. :-(

There have been several instances of this happening lately and I just don't understand why some adults feel like kids are not worthy of the same respect they themselves expect?


Claire said...

I don't have an answer for you. I will say, my kids are also used to being around adults, and I've noticed the same lack of respect for them. It's not that I expect adults to respect them as equals, but just that they might have something to say that's important, ya know?

My 13yo son doesn't want to be called a "teenager" because he thinks that people think all teens are jerks. Some people tend to lump all teens in the same box

I think that even as adults, we have to deal with people who don't like us, even if they don't know us. It's something our kids need to learn, and to respond in a Christ-like manner (just like we should). :)

SmockLady said...

I've been thinking about this lately myself. I'd go one step further than Claire did though. Children/teens are not equal to adults? I disagree; I think they are. They are human beings with the same rights and privileges I have, actually, they have more rights according to the law. They have greater protection. (That could be a post on it's own.)

I think one of the reasons "today's teens" (generality) are so disrespectful of others and others' property is because they are shown no respect of their own. I know many adults I do not respect as much as many of the teens in our church. Being older/one's elder does not does not automatically give one the right to mistreat/show ill respect to those who are younger. I do think we should show our elders respect because they have "gone before" experiencing and living ahead of us. We should listen, even to the grumpy ones, we can learn from them. I think one of the great injustices to families and children that our western culture affords us is this terrible need to segregate the ages, stripping our younger ones from the responsibilities for which they should face.

I have so much more to say on this; I'll save it and make a post with a HT over here. I suspect my comment is already longer than your post. :D