ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Youth and Respect--Or the Lack Thereof

Updated on September 3, 2012

What are we doing to the future?

I read a hub by fellow hubber LovetheLola just moments ago, and I felt moved to add my two cents to her already well-written article.

The children these days have a complete lack of respect for their elders or anyone in a position of authority. Bad attitude and lip is what you get now. Even the older young people, those in their early 20s, who should know how to behave, are disrespectful of their surroundings and anyone in their vicinity. I do believe the root cause is the government-mandated, non-interventional parenting style that we have had to adapt to, and that we have allowed our government to force upon us, lest our children be taken from us on "abuse" charges. If I had acted even one-tenth as disrespectful as the young people today, I would have had my butt beat and I would have been unable to sit in any comfort for a couple days, at least. In fact, I can remember getting my hiney jacked good a couple of times for even a little backtalk. I thank God every day that my parents taught me respect with a somewhat stern hand, because the mistakes I did wind up making in my life would have been multiplied ten-fold.

Not a day goes by that I am not a witness to disrespect by a child to either their parents, another adult care giver, a teacher, office staff, bystanders, or just plain anybody. And in some instances, it is plain to see, instantly, the reason behind it. For instance, the other day at the office I was working in, we had a family of 3 come in. Father, mother, and young adult son (20-ish). Dad was an overbearing, sarcastic individual--to us on the phone, in person, and then to his wife after the appointment was over. But during the time in the waiting room, son sat on one side of the room, slouched in his chair, legs apart, cell phone in hand, speaker on, while mom and dad sat across the room. Dad and son conversed, such as it was, back and forth across the room. Mom chose not to utter a sound. The visit completed, mom and dad approached the desk to pay. Son sat back down to slouch and wait. When told how much the visit came to, hubby turned to wife and said, "You knew about this $x payment?" Before she could open her mouth, he put his fingers up in her face and snapped them at her eyes--you know what I'm talking about--and then said, "Huh? Did ya?"--and the son chuckles. Papa is proud of himself. Mom looks at me like she wants the ground to swallow her whole. But this is what I am talking about. How is the son to learn respect for total strangers when his male role model has no respect for his own wife? If father treats all around him with contempt and smug arrogance, how will son turn out?

Then there is the instant gratification that our children have come to not only expect, but to demand. And no matter the cost. Mom and daughter come to the office for a fitting for a product. Girl is maybe 13. Girl gets her fitting, then mom is talking products and pricing with the clerk. Mom hears the price of what girl wants, she tells girl they need to look at other alternatives. Girl says, "I told you I want THOSE, didn't I!? Duh!" Followed by an angry and completely disrespectful face that would have gotten me sent sailing across the room when I was her age. Lo and behold…what happens next? Mom caves. She shells out mucho bucks for this snotty little brat of a disrespectful child just WHAT? So brat-child can go tell her little friends that she has no respect for her mother and she can still get anything she wants? So any respect her friends may have had for her mother basically just went out the window?

It is hard to hold one's tongue in those situations, let me tell you. But LovetheLola and I seem to handle things in a similar fashion. I have gotten pretty good at the glare thing. Without moving a facial muscle you can glare at someone and make them aware that you do see exactly what they are doing and exactly what you think of them.

I see so much of that every day. And I do mean every day. From the trip to the grocery store to witness the snotty children telling their mom no and stomping and screaming--then getting candy as a bribe to behave--to the office where I see old people trying to open the door and young people walking right by, leaving them to struggle, just so they can get to the desk first.

In fact, I nearly fell over the other day when a young 20-something guy was actually sitting far from the entrance to the office, looked back toward the front of the office and saw an old woman approaching the door to come in, with a walker, and he actually got up and rushed to the door to hold it open for her until she was all the way in. Everyone in the office was smiling and impressed and complimented him for his behavior. The sad part is, that should just be what comes naturally, not something so alien that we are in awe of being witness to it. We say we wrecked the future for our kids; that we failed them. People, these children we are raising are the future of this country—the future government, the future business owners, bosses, doctors, lawyers, police officers—you name it. We simply must stand firm with our children and instill in them the respect they are so sorely lacking today—respect for their elders, for authority, for each other, even for themselves—or we really will have failed them.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      7 years ago from Summerland

      I have to agree with your thoughts in this hub, as well. Kids have no respect for parents that don't respect themselves. We can't let our children have WHATEVER they want, and we can't let them boss us around, otherwise they'll grow up to be totally insufficient brats. Voted up and useful.

    • visionandfocus profile image


      7 years ago from North York, Canada

      I so totally agree with everything you say in this hub. What you describe is horrifying to witness. There really is nothing worse than a disrespecful, ungrateful, child. So many parents seem scared of their kids too--so sad! Imagine those litte horrors running (or trying to run, very ineffectively) the world one day. Gives me the heebie-jeebies! You may be interested in my hub on '8 lessons we must teach our children'.

      Voted up!

    • fucsia profile image


      7 years ago

      Great page laidbacklady. I am totally agree with you and I am also worried about the future.

    • laidbacklady profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Plumsted Township, NJ

      Thanks for your views. I agree with you, as well. There are some older people who are no more respectful of others than the teenagers these days, and you are right to feel the way you do. The best we can do as individuals and mothers is to just be as kind and courteous as we can to others, set an example for our kids, and hope that they learn to follow our lead. Thanks again for reading my post! :)

    • jenwat0405 profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      I completely agree with you. I am in the young generation where a lot of my peers are disrespectful. I was one of those a time ago, until I had children. One thing I have been told all of my life is to respect my elders, but then I see my elders behaving worse than most of my peers and treating others terribly. I do respect my elders but it does not come automatic. I will not respect someone older than me that chooses to treat people as if they are beneath them. The problem today, is that society has made excuses for people that are disrespectful, giving them some sort of mental disorder or classification that is really just an excuse to allow them to continue acting the way they do. I am a believer in "spanking", but I am also a believer in treating my children with respect. How can I demand respect from them if I treat them as if they don't matter? This was a good article...thank you!

    • laidbacklady profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Plumsted Township, NJ

      Thanks for the support! I know I will have tweaked a few noses out there, but it is just such a frustrating issue, especially when you feel as if your hands are tied. I guess I have just seen too much of it. It doesn't help to remember how it was when I was growing up and to realize just how far we have fallen. And you are right, a swat on the back side every now and again, when it's warranted, is totally appropriate.

      We're not talking Joan Crawford and wire hangers here, people! We're talking get their attention, point out the problem, and nip it in the bud.

    • mareezy13 profile image


      7 years ago from Chicago, IL

      FINALLY!!! Someone who is willing to stand up for this noble cause! I agree with you completely. I try so hard to teach my son respect, and how I will not deal with inappropriate behavior. And it is so much harder to instill these principles in my son when he watches the rude behavior of his classmates. I was never one to spank, but as long as we aren't beating our children, I don't find a quick spank to be an issue.

      Good hub, no matter what our beliefs are! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)