Parents and Children

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These days, parents like to encourage their children to converse openly with them. They let their children speak their minds and tell them to always stick up and speak up for themselves, even with adults. This philosophy is great, but I believe that when kids are told to speak out defiantly, they are too young to understand the true value of their parents’ words and therefore, take advantage. They are taught to speak up but are not taught where to draw the line. And I believe that in over-privileged areas, such as in our school district(The East Williston School District), kids push the line farther.

I see kids here everyday forgetting what respect for your elders truly means. Students don’t know how good they have it when they take out daddy‘s credit card to get lunch at some expensive place with friends. In their selfish, spoiled minds, they still think that for some strange reason they are entitled to everything they have and more. And because mommy and daddy never gave them a good smack for fear of social services being called, their children live their lives sticking their noses up at the world because they think they own it. Parents are living in fear of their children, and, as a result, have lost control of them and what it means to instill some discipline. Many children demand material things from their parents, curse at them, and show them absolutely no respect. They treat their parents like inferior creatures who just happen to supply money for them. And in this jaded society, this behavior is actually accepted and perpetuated. I’m not saying that this problem affects all children, but I have seen enough of this sort of disrespectful behavior to write an article about it. And those reading this piece and shaking their heads saying, “I’m not like that to my parents,” probably are. What ever happened to the good old days when if a kid disrespected his parents, he knew that he would be in for it?

And it is not only in the home that this kind of flippancy occurs. It is everywhere, but mainly at school. Teachers, the ones who educate us and nurture us and if they’re really good, make us into better people, do not get nearly enough respect. Many children think only of the “me” and the “I” and never what they should be doing. Because children are narcissistic by nature, it is so hard to try and control a class of rowdy and restless teenagers; teachers don’t get enough credit for what they have to accomplish. Kids talk back to their teachers, curse at or around them, and do not listen to a word that they say. After all, teachers can’t use the ruler anymore. The disrespect has gotten so bad that some kids don’t even know that they are doing it. Even the teachers seem clueless. Mind you, I am just coming to this realization, so I am not claiming to have been a perfect student in the past. But the point is that what I am seeing makes me sick. I can't believe that some of the students I see have the audacity to say the things they say and do the things they do in front of teachers. Just the other day, I saw two ninth graders annoying and harassing Lina the lunch lady. Of course she couldn’t hit them for fear of losing her job, but I’m sure she would have loved to. I finally went over to them and questioned aloud who they thought they were. They were only freshman and thought that they could talk to someone older than they in that self-superior way so commonly used today. They had no snappy come backs, so, reluctantly, they left the lunch line. Lina high-fived me and some other students thanked me.

So yes, respect for your elders is a wonderful thing that we are severely lacking in the halls and classrooms of Wheatley. But what about respect for our peers? From my eyes, there is an increasing amount of disregard of men to women, boys to girls. What ever happened to chivalry? Was it washed away with the women’s libber? And if so, how do we get it back without the return of inferiority? It would be nice to have men or boys open doors for us and all that jazz again. But more importantly is the way they talk to women. Boys these days talk to their girl friends in such a disrespectful manner, calling them inappropriate names and not sparing a word in front of them because they don’t realize how rude it really is.

Respect for your parents, elders, and peers is very important, but respect for yourself is lacking as well. Some girls are doing things that will make your toes curl and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up from just hearing the stories. Outfits leave less and less to the imagination and all of this sexual animation can only be attributed to one thing in my book-- lack of self respect and self confidence. And then the boys don’t respect the girls enough to tell them that all that sexuality is not necessary. It’s a vicious cycle.

I don’t know what has happened to society nowadays and what we can blame it on, if anything. Maybe it’s where we live, maybe it’s the media, maybe it’s America, maybe it’s just the change in times. But whatever it is, I for one do not accept the absense of respect and hope that respect returns back to the way it is supposed to be.





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