I REALLY DISLIKE DISRESPECTFUL PEOPLE!
My girls say I’m a nazi about respect. That might not be PC, but let’s not get stuck on that. LOL
I’m going to repeat what I said in a previous post about this:
I’m going to address this part to the parents first.
I can’t tell you how many parents I see that are super disrespectful to their kids but yet expect them to be respectful to them. That only goes on for so long. There WILL come a point when your child says, “Enough!” They will get old enough to move out and say adios to the people who have done nothing but make them feel like nothing.
People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou said something to this effect and she’s exactly right. Stop and think about 3 people and pay attention. What feeling comes to you when you think about each one of them?
What would your kids say when they’re asked to think about you?
Teachers and administrators aren’t off the hook here either. They are often the worst offenders. Kids go to school to be treated pretty awful. I have to say I’m not impressed with the massive controlling behavior of middle and high schools. Instead of getting less controlling so these kids “learn” they get more and more controlling and more and more disrespectful. And we wonder why kids drop out. We wonder why they don’t like school. We wonder why they aren’t getting good grades. And we wonder why their stress level is up there right along with WWII soldiers. We wonder why we have school shootings! Can you tell I’m mad about this?
Do you have something to say about this when it happens to your kids? Do you have high expectations of those who so greatly impact your kids? Do you empower them to call B.S. on an adult who mistreats them? Do you tell them you have their back if they respectfully call out an adult at school in an appropriate way? Have you taught them how to do that?
So much disrespect is going around whether it’s from parents to kids, kids to parents, kids to kids, teachers, administrators, coaches to kids and visa versa. It needs to stop starting with us.
LIFE IS CAUGHT, NOT TAUGHT
You will not teach someone to be respectful by forcing it on them with disrespect. You might argue that fact, but listen to the logic. Do you want a person to grit their teeth and speak respectful to you or do you want that person to “feel” respect for you and treat you accordingly? The military might be okay with that and that’s cool, but we’re parents who are trying to raise amazing people who are mentally and emotionally healthy. It might sound cliche but treat them the way you would want to be treated.
We have to walk the walk. We’re not fooling anyone especially teenagers who have the most well-tuned hypocrite meter!
Now this part is for the teenagers or young adults.
In case no one has ever taught you how to do this, allow me:)
IF you choose to address an adult that is being disrespectful do it in private, communicate with them what exactly they are doing that is causing stress for you and tell them you’d like to try to figure out what the problem is.
You may have that adult be even more disrespectful to you simply because they are prideful and can’t take constructive feedback. Use that as an example of how NOT to be. You might not be able to resolve it, but at least they know you know what’s going on and you’re not okay with it.
Sometimes you get lucky and the other person thanks you for what you did. They may not know they’re coming across that way.
One of my daughters REALLY hates being in trouble to the point she will allow a lot of mistreatment by an adult at school to avoid the risk of being sent to the office for a dreaded phone call home to me…BUT(!) I have told her over and over to think through how a conversation with me is going to go if a teacher calls me to tell me she/he was called out for basically being an ass.
My girls are history buffs and they really hate it when a teacher teaches what they want instead of the facts, so this is a frequent topic of discussion therefore I will use this example. Remember…there is always something underneath when a person is upset. Keep pressing. It might go something like this:
Teacher: Miss Teresa, I’m calling because your daughter spoke up in class disagreeing with me about a topic we were discussing and I really didn’t appreciate it.
Me: Okay, thank you for calling. Can you tell me exactly what happened and what is frustrating you?
Teacher: She challenged me about the way I was teaching in history class.
Me: How did she challenge you?
Teacher: She disagreed with the facts and told me I needed to be more thorough. I don’t appreciate that.
Me: Okay, so were you telling the whole story or was it partial?
Teacher: Well…I was teaching what was appropriate. When your daughter challenged me on that I told her to be quiet and she told me to tell the whole story. Again, I’m pretty upset with her.
Me: Was she respectful when she spoke to you?
Teacher: Yes, but that’s not the point.
Me: Really? So, let me get this straight so I make sure I’m understanding you correctly. She raised her hand and respectfully requested you be complete in your teaching on this subject?
Teacher: Well…she doesn’t need to do that.
Me: Ma’am/Sir, I’m not raising brainwashed conformists. What seems to be the problem is you are not accustom to intelligent kids in your class brave enough to raise their hand and give you appropriate feedback. You said she was respectful. You admit you were not telling a complete version of history and now you’re calling me to tell me you have a problem with that? Do you think that is appropriate?
Me: I would encourage you to take the feedback and make the necessary, positive adjustments we are all called to make at various times in our life. I’m sure it’s not comfortable, but wouldn’t it teach far more to the students to thank her for her contribution in the middle of class rather than get upset when you’re wrong and then try to make two wrongs equal a right by calling me? You will get nowhere with me doing that and I can assure you, you will get nowhere with my daughter. I raised her better than that. Be proud of people like that. I’m sure you were once that person too and didn’t it feel much better? Is there anything more I can do for you?
Notice respect going both ways even though we disagreed. Was my purpose to change the teacher’s mind? Not really. Would I have handled that a lot differently if the teacher had said my daughter was disrespectful? Definitely. My purpose was to treat the teacher with the utmost respect while standing up with my daughter for what is right, not easy, right. Whether the teacher changes or not is not the point. Sometimes our audience is not the person we’re talking to. They are the onlookers.
Brene Brown describes integrity as: choosing courage over comfort; doing what is right over what’s fast, easy or fun; and practicing values over professing values. I happen to agree 100%.
I do want to add something. If there is a person that is very inappropriate, bring another adult with you. That is not the time to go it alone. Just FYI 🙂