re·spect [1]

1. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.

2. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
3. the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.
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 Today I write about respect but I secretly only want to know exactly what you think is the best way to teach a child to respect you.  I’ve been struggling on this one for a while.  I recall a conversation with a loved one who stated that a child should have a ‘healthy fear’ of their parents.  I have had plenty of thoughts about this idea ever since and have been analyzing the relationship between a ‘healthy fear’ and ‘respect’.
Imagine someone in your life that you respect.  Do you respect them only because of their position in life?  Are they your boss and you could lose your job so you hold them in a respectful regard until your promotion?  Do you respect them because they are so admirable in your eyes that you almost feel intimidated by their presence? Do you just respect them because of their age or professional status because that is what you were taught?  Is your respect for that person a healthy fear?
The most difficult realization I have considered is that I can be the best I can be in hopes that I can earn my child’s ‘respect’ but they will see me fail and fall down and I’d never be able to hide my errors from them.  If I show them that I ask for God’s forgiveness and base my decisions on Godly principles and I try my best not to be a hypocrite, will they then respect me?
In my daily life, I don’t have a problem showing respect to the environment, other people or people in authority, that must have been what I was a taught during my childhood. 
So today I ask: 
How did you teach your child to respect you or how did your parents earn your true and honest respect?

2 thoughts on “Respect

  1. A thoughtful topic! I’m not all about authoritarian based respect because I feel like it is shallow respect. I do think my daughter will have to understand that sort of respect as that dynamic still exists in the workplace. I hope to model mutual respect for my daughter, including apologies for when I fail. Often parents are afraid that to apologize undermines authority, but I think it gives a child a greater respect for you and teaches them to own up to their mistakes. Hopefully when we hit the non-negotiables we’ll have enough trust and love between us that she can respect when I have to make a limit she doesn’t agree with. It’s a complicated question but important to consider. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for sharing! That sounds like an excellent approach. I can imagine complete, unconditional love partnered with a life filled with humility and honour would allow for strong respect. Ooooh, sounds like I have plenty of work to do!

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