We shouldn’t question why someone, especially parents, deserves respect; it should be given anyway. Parents shouldn’t have to strive to meet the wavering/fluctuating qualifications of a child to get respect. I believe one of the mistakes contemporary parents make is trying to become ‘friends’ with their children, when that is not the reality of the realationship, no matter what magazine one has read.
As far as parents who act up in public, just as the child does, that’s evidence they had issues before the kid even came along, and now it’s worse. One can learn a bit from elders. No, they shouldn’t act as if they are always right, because no one is. But their experiences and wisdom about life will one day aid you if you allow it instead of disgarding it. So to say one shouldn’t respect someone because of age is like saying one shouldn’t hold the door for someone who doesn’t have legs because they have arms. What sense does that make? And how nice is that? The problem is in rearing. I know several people who work all hours of the day and night, and their kids are not disrespectful, so no more excuses. I will never have a kid and raise him or her to be one of those brats.