Aretha Franklin knew it, we learned it, so why doesn’t the younger generation know it???

RESPECT is defined as: a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. A way of treating or thinking about yourself and others.

We’re left then to wonder why today’s youth does not find it, or seek it, in or outside of themselves. We know that it begins with self-RESPECT, yet a climate of indifference and apathy lingers today, one that urgently demands address …hence today’s post.

There is great value in teaching independence, self-sufficiency, discovering and living as your own person, and the like. However, RESPECT is on the adult menu! We need to have it when we arrive, meaning that we need to learn this indispensable virtue from day one.

Fortunately, RESPECT is taught by the entire family, school system, and community around us, so the resources are infinite. Unfortunately, even with all of these nurturing sources, this current virtue deficit has reached a point of requiring ‘us’ to Train the Trainer, referring to the formal and informal training of educators and parents to effectively teach RESPECT. Many children are coming to school lacking even the basic awareness of what RESPECT is, much less demonstrating the appropriate behavior.

Child and teen development expert, Dr. Robyn Silverman outlines the basic steps:

10 Parenting Tips for Teaching Respect and Curbing Disrespect:

Model it

Expect it

Teach it

Praise it

Discuss it

Correct it

Acknowledge it

Understand it

Reinforce it

Reward it




It looks easy on paper, but ultimately the task lies on each of our shoulders, beginning in our own mirror. Reflection goes hand in hand with this powerful virtue. It’s something we should do every day, and continually when teaching it. If only the young could observe ALL adults living by the Golden Rule…

RESPECT gives us inner strength and peace, quality relationships, and a more interesting life. It’s what trust is built upon.  And with so much diversity today, we would do well to expand our thinking, embrace and show acceptance of what and who we do not know, and it all starts from a foundation of RESPECT.

Let’s go into the new week with a renewed sense of RESPECT, and of how we’re sharing it with others…especially our children.


“Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.” ~Laurence Sterne


Debra Tiffany