In our latest childrensministry.com e-newsletter, we highlighted an article by Carmen Kamrath called "Respect--Not!" This article takes a look at the phenomenon of kids who show disrespect--like never before. If you want to read the article, go here: http://www.childrensministry.com/article.asp?ID=1019
What intrigues me is what some of the people posted in response to the article:
"I am a Sunday School teacher In New Zealand, and just started studying my Masters in children and public policy, because I want to try make a difference in the underlying values of our society that produces this disrespectful generation."
"As a child abuse educator, I continue to hear from numerous parents how friends are such an influence to the respectful behavior of their child. The reality is that numerous parents in my experience fail to take a close and honest look at how they respect their family members. It is about taking responsibility for our own respectful behavior, that's the scary part."
"Thanks so much for this article. It was an eye-opener. Sometimes you think you are the only one going though this. I think your article brought up some good points."
Seems to be a widespread issue.
So, it makes me wonder...what's up with kids who show little respect? Why are they so "mouthy"? Experts say this is the generation that's used to "being heard"--ie, kids influence billions of dollars in purchases. Mom and Dad are obviously listening. And, believe me, marketers are listening to!
I guess I wonder sometimes if we've created an environment where kids don't know the boundaries of when they shouldn't speak up. I know, for me as a parent, I sometimes let my kids "express themselves" a little too much. How can we re-establish the boundaries for kids--and let them know their opinion is highly valued?
I'm sure it's more complex than this, but I think this is one aspect that contributes to kids' "lack of respect."