Saturday, October 8, 2011


I know that if you are under 25 and I say...."when I was a kid...." your eyes are going to glaze over and your mind will wander. It is not until you reach a certain age and a certain level of maturity that you realize wisdom and age walk hand in hand for a reason. The main reason is....experience. All the old sayings like, youth is wasted on the young in fact are true. Not until you you understand. More than that ....the younger you are....the wiser you think you are and the older you get....the more you realize just how much you have left to learn.

Okay....this is rant day and I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this. So let me start by saying.....when I was a kid my parents taught me many things. One of the important ones respected adults. It didn't matter whether those adults where your parents, grand parents, teachers, neighbors or the mailman. If they were older you called them Mr. or Mrs. and ma'am and sir. In public especially,  you were expected to show manners.......not talk back and hold your tongue regardless of what was said. To this day I still say ma'am and sir and I still call my elders Mr. and Mrs. In my job too I notice that I have far more patience or maybe it is far more respect for those older than myself....... than some of my younger co-workers seem to.

So what is my rant already???? Young people and their level of disrespect for their elders. Again...when I was growing up, what was expected of me.....was expected of most. Kids would never dare call another friends mom or dad by their first name. They would never think to back talk a teacher or answer without a ma'am or sir being attached. So what has happened to our kids and grand kids? Suddenly we have a generation of kids who find disrespect not only acceptable but the norm. I realize that maybe with the changes in the world, more homes having both parents working and other social changes that maybe the emphasis of elder respect has been glossed over, but the level of disrespect in my opinion is really alarming.

In the last week alone I saw several situations where kids in their teens and early twenties showed total disrespect. One case was a young man driving down the road. He was in one of the newer mustangs. He looked to have been all of about 17 and he cut a woman who was probably a little older than myself off. She had kids in her car and she had to slam on her brakes to avoid an accident. He just laughed and flipped her off as he spun around her. REALLY? The next was going into the pharmacy. Two young men in their early twenties walked up to the door and first of all....stepped ahead of an elderly lady with a walker. Rather than step ahead and hold the door for her.....they walked ahead and let the door close on her as she was trying to enter. I grabbed it just as it was about to hit her walker. Again...REALLY? Then there was the young lady who was with her mother and wanted her computer fixed. It was determined that the issue was the young girls fault from misuse. The mother told her that they would bring it back to get it fixed when the girl could pay for it on her own (apparently she had a job). The girl was immediately angry and told me to go ahead and fix it. The mother looked embarrassed but held her ground and said " are paying for this." The girl became enraged and said "this is f#%@ed up. You can be such a b#$%&!" She then grabbed the computer and slammed it shut further damaging the already damaged hinge. She then side swiped her mom with the computer and stomped out.....leaving mom red faced and apologetic! It was a bit embarrassing for me too.  What is going on with kids? Did the basics of respect both for others and themselves skip a generation?

Z constantly comes home and tells me stories of how kids talk to teachers with no worries of repercussions or punishment. He has told me how other kids talk to their parents, grand parents and other adults showing zero respect as if they were some how entitled to act this way. Z on the other hand knows if he goes to someones house he better address parents as Mr. or Mrs., he better say "please" and "thank you" and he better be respectful at all times. The same goes for teachers, neighbors and anyone who is older. He knows if it was ever reported to me that he was ever anything but as he knows it would end.

I guess many kids today aren't taught the fundamental aspects of respect. I learned this a long time ago with Man Childs friends, so with Z's friends.....I make sure that they the understand the rules where I am concerned and in my home....up front. They know what is and what is not acceptable in my home, that four letter words are not to be used here, that if they mess it up....they clean it up and that my word is law. Cross me and you don't come back. It is as simple as that. So far....I have had no problems. Well....just one. It never fails that when Z brings a new friend home....they always ask Z what they should call me. Apparently no one (but Z) calls anyone's parents by Mr. or Mrs. anymore and I don't want his friends calling me Lisa, so Z just tells them to call me Mom! So far that has worked and all involved are okay with it.

So again I ask....what has happened to kids respecting adults? I know this may sound old fashioned, but darn if I don't feel that I deserve some respect. maybe this wasn't so much a rant and more of an unhappy observance on the human condition. At any rate...the verbalization of my dissatisfaction is complete and I will wish you all a good day. Happy Saturday everyone!


Ali said...

You always blog about things I think about or notice. I am fairly young and I was definitely taught respect for older people but I know so many my age that just think older people are a pain in the butt. I don't get it. My grandma is the greatest person I know and so smart. I can't imagine not treating her well. Thanks for the blog.

Jill said...

Funny timing for this rant!! Alex brought a new friend home today and she actually ASKED ME what she should call me!! I told her not to call me Mrs. Cook because if she did I would think my mother-in-law was here!! I told her Jill or mom would be fine!! It struck me as funny at the time as I thought to myself how nice it was for her to ask!!

Marni said...

Oh I love was so funny that I was always being complimented about my kids always being so polite because I just thought it was something normal that other kids were being taught. Their friends called me Mom all the time too. So much easier then hearing "Mrs Jones" Yuck...thats my MIL!!!! My kids friends also knew that I had rules and they were to follow them or they were not welcome at our house.
I love watching when Phillip was teaching Greyson about opening doors for others and we for sure are teaching the please and thank you.
Its sad that it seems to be a lost thing to say these words and just being respectful of not just elders but anyone.
Great Blog!!!

Anonymous said...


First of all, how old are you? You write like you're older than dirt. I'm older than you and I don't feel like I'm that old.

Please don't tell me you dyed your hair blur today and traded the minivan in for a 4-door Ford sedan. And I mean this in the most respectful way.

Years ago, (ok now I'm sounding older) while on a family vacation my brother and me were following our parents and relatives in my car. When we were in Colorado a couple of goofballs cut my dad's car off and flipped them off. Bad idea. Much like what you saw Lisa. My brother, Ron said let's get them. Well we got them to pull over a couple miles down the road. My brother properly instructed the driver on etiquette with a 1-2 punch and then came over and helped me finish the same lesson with the passenger as our parents watched in disbelief. Ron smiled and waved as we got back in the car and went on with our vacation. Respect was required back then.

That aide, in my home I'm call Mr. by my son's friends. Not because I demand it, but because respect is is just part of our home. And when I'm out and I see some younger ones acting disrespectfully I will take them aside and offer some helpful tips. Wanted or not. I even stopped traffic a couple of times for someone in walker trying to cross the street. Its everybody, not just the teenagers who have given up on the simple art of respect.

And it happens here on this blog too. And I'm glad to see the decorum has improved greatly recently.

As a country we have forgotten that respect starts at home. And we as individuals have a responsibility to show it ourselves and encourage others to do the same.