Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Respect



Respect means different things to people. I guess you can say we are an old school typical loud, tell it like it is, large Italian family. We talk about everything, have an opinion about it, discuss it, usually loudly and we will all say no I wasn't yelling!
Where I live there are not many families, or moms like me. My kids call you Mr and Mrs so and so. I have found most people don't like it, and will usually say its ok, call me by my first name. No it's not ok, it's about respect, and I expect your child to call me Mrs. We call our friends by their first name. A 5 year old is not my friend. The boy that comes to the house to pick up my daughter is not my friend. The teacher at school is not my friend, etc.
When an adult comes over, friend, family, someone new, it is appropriate to stop what you are doing, and say hello. Put your phone down, get your ass off the couch and shake hands, saying nice to meet you.
If you are a boy and you come for my daughters, you get out of your car, come to the door, come in say hello etc. Over my dead body will my daughter run out to a car beeping it's horn!
If you are at someone's house and don't like something, be polite about it. Don't say ewwww this looks gross. Try it, you might like it, and if not, just don't eat it, and say thank you anyway.
If you are a boy and are at my house for dinner, you take your hat off!
When someone is talking to you, put your phone down, and look at them
No texting during dinner
Now of course besides common courtesy, and how to treat others, respecting us as parents and your siblings is priority. If there is no respect in the home, how can they show respect when they are not?
Here is what I do in the home...
As soon as my kids can talk the prompting starts, please, thank you etc
We don't say give me, it's can I have....
The biggest thing I do which I feel really let's the kids know what's expected is we have family meetings where we sit around the table and discuss things, like rules etc. we also tell them that being a part of our family is special. We are not just out for ourselves, we work together as a team. We are a family of 9so of course everything isn't going to be your mess, or your fault, but if something needs to get done you do it anyway. Meanness is not acceptable here, angry outbursts require an apology and we honor each other in this house which means treating each other as special.
They are not allowed to say I hate you to us or their siblings. You can say its not fair, I hate the rules etc but not I hate you.
The older children sometimes like to think they are co parents, or above the rules since they are older. Um no, learn your place, you are kids, we are parents.
Ok, so of course this does not mean my kids, me or my house is perfect. Of course my kids get sassy, have bad attitudes, disrespect etc. The difference is it's not accepted, and I'm on it. Nothing bothers me more than rude kids, who don't know their place. I'm okay with being the mean mom, my kids not liking me since they are not my friends anyway, and people not understanding how I do things. Just today my sister was talking to me, and there is a lot she doesn't get. Well her kids are young right now, she will get it when it's happening and realize what I meant, one day...
this generation is really upsetting, and I don't want my kids to just not care and be like everyone else. Parents give their kids too much, too soon and wonder why at 16 they expect a car for their birthday. Or why does a 10 yr old need a smart phone? I've done some changes around here, and you know it's not just about the money. It's about respect, responsibility, sense of entitlement etc. My drama queen who is 15 no longer has a cell phone, my 17 yr old is getting switched to a regular phone. Not only am I saving $40 a month, these things are not necessity! They are luxuries, and when they can afford them for themselves, they can have them. Why are some parents working 3 jobs so their kids have material things? Or vacations? Or nice cars? What happened to just spending time together? Laughing, talking? Get crazy, play a card game, take a walk, go to the park....trust me your kids will remember that more than the iPhone you bought them.