(Any) respect for elders?

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  • #6739

    Kate D.
    Member

    Why do Western people, children and adults alike, show such little respect for their parents? Don’t some appreciate the time and effort their parents have given them? I see children and teenagers publicly yelling and swearing at their parents, and calling them stupid in front of their peers. As for the adults, some consider their parents a burden they must be rid of, removed from the family home or put in a nursing home. Where is the thank-you for the nine months of labor, and the dedication and commitment in raising someone from a baby to a walking, talking, thinking adult?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Kate D., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Asian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 22, City : Melbourne, State : NA Country : Australia, Occupation : nursing student, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #47194

    Colleen
    Member

    I saw a show about parenting and WWII. One of the points was that when parents, who served in the war came back home, they applied the discipline they’d learned in the military services to their children, who resented it. Those children, as adults, were determined to raise their children differently – with a lot less restrictions and more demostrations of love. Those less restricted children, have taken it a step farther. They want their children to do and be everything. Children are not told ‘no,’ they are treated like small adults (i.e. go to bed when you are ready), and they are enrolled in every lesson or group going. Two things are going on. First, parents are having to figure out parenting from scratch because we don’t have extended family support in our mobile society. Second, our children have to be super because otherwise we’re bad parents/people. Also, somewhere along the way, we were told that we ‘can have it all,’ and a lot of people have bought that idea. Sleeping and free time are a waste. So we have a lot of sleep deprived parents, trying to make something easier in their life. It’s all happened with the best of intentions, and not a lot of foresight.

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    Name : Colleen, Gender : F, Age : 40, City : Quantico, State : VA Country : United States, Occupation : teacher's aide, Education level : 2 Years of College, 
    #35384

    Jeff
    Member

    I find it interesting that you ask ‘Where is the thank-you for the nine months of labor, and the dedication and commitment in raising someone…’ The act of labor is a necessary part of giving birth; dedication and commitment are taken on by the parent. The ‘problem’ is that both are merely the defining pieces of the parent-child relationship, decided only by the parent with little or no input from the child. If that’s all you base the relationship on, a lack of respect is the only reasonable outcome. If you’re looking for a child’s respect, the relationship between parent and child must be stronger than just those things that define their roles. They must have open communication, be willing to share their lives and learn from each other. All too often, we have know-all parents who are unwilling to adapt their perception of the world for the benefit of the children who are also living in it, and children who can’t/won’t talk to their parents about their experiences. (Personal case: my parents did me a ‘favor’ by adopting me and providing food and shelter, but they did me no favors by trying to teach me that Jewish people are stingy, black people are stupid, and gay people are rapists. I didn’t buy any of it, and they are certainly not deserving of any respect from me.) Relationships are a two-way street, and no one will always be right or wrong. The world is always changing — what’s ‘right’ today may not be ‘right’ tomorrow. If you want children to respect their parents, the parents must also respect their children.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jeff, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 33, City : San Francisco, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Software Tester, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #27840

    Jerome30948
    Participant

    I think the reason children are free to say what they want toward their parents is that there is no discipline. Back in the day when I was a young buck, getting your a** whooped meant you messed up and were going to pay for your crime. Now, when a parent disciplines a child, it’s called child abuse. With that being known, the parents are helpless and just let the children do and say what they want, to avoid any type of conflict. Once the parents back down, the children know how to manipulate their parents and get what they want.

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    Name : Jerome30948, Gender : M, Race : Filipino, City : Los Angeles, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, 
    #33916

    BB23291
    Participant

    I am lucky to have intelligent and kind parents, but not everybody does. Why should people automatically give respect just because they are related? Some kids get beaten black and blue and worse by their relations. It makes sense to me to judge people by their actions rather than their genetic relationship to me. People have children for all sorts of selfish reasons – why should the child feel grateful for the nine months in the womb? He or she didn’t choose to be here.

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    Name : BB23291, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 27, City : Edinburgh, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, Occupation : PhD. student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #36453

    Nelson-A20199
    Participant

    When you say ‘Western’ you certainly don’t mean Latin America. Family values here are just as high as in oriental cultures. I went to China and Taiwan four years ago, and I found many similarities between family values there and in Latin America. Being Catholic also has to do with it. You see that Catholic Europeans (i.e. Italians) are more family oriented than most Non-Catholics. The Latin-Hispanic(of any race/color) and Asian populations in the USA are also family oriented (not only on Thanksgiving), although losing it a bit because of the ‘rat race’ and ‘dog eat dog’ mentality. I agree with you, it’s sad to see what you say, but materialism and consumism are the cancer of family values. Gladly that cancer doesn’t exist in all the western world.

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    Name : Nelson-A20199, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 32, City : Caracas, State : NA Country : Venezuela, Occupation : Lawyer/Business, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #37504

    Marta22159
    Participant

    I can’t speak for all Westerners, only for Brazilians. We tend to take care of our elders; it’s our duty to them. Not only to our parents, but we feel responsible toward uncles, aunts or any relative in need. Family (and I mean the extended family) is highly regarded in Brazil. People offer advice, help, a roof, whatever is needed for a relative (or close friend) in need. I wish my parents a long and independent life, but if at some point they cannot take care of themselves, we will have to move in together again. I won’t consider sending my parents to an ‘elders’ home.’ I can’t see any of my friends doing that, either. Our parents will be part of our lives and responsibility for as long as we live. From all my relations and acquaintances, I know of only one family that sent their grandfather to a ‘home.’ It’s not for me to judge their reasons, but honestly, I find their decision hard to approve.

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    Name : Marta22159, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 32, City : São Paulo, State : NA Country : Brazil, Occupation : Veterinarian, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #47348

    Lindsay
    Member

    Although I am 20, I still have respect for my parents. I don’t yell at them in public. However, they seldom (when I was younger and now) ever punished me or yelled at me in public. I have friends who yell at their parents in public, but I have noticed that their parents yell at them in public too. Children learn habits primarily from their family, then from other influences (from a diversity class I have taken n the last year).

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    Name : Lindsay, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 20, City : Muskegon, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : Bible Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #28334

    Natalie
    Participant

    As a child, I was always made to feel as if I owed a huge debt to my mother for raising my sister and myself without any help from a father. If she had nurtured and protected us, we most certainly would feel that way. However, she was the most vicious, demanding, manipulative and violent person I have ever known. Beatings, belittlement and intolerance were a ‘staple’ in my household. Do I feel I ‘owe’ her respect? NO. Would I put her in a nursing home? To tell you the truth, I won’t be around to make that decision – I rarely see her now and my son and I are better off for it.

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    Name : Natalie, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Deist, Age : 32, City : Toronto, State : NA Country : Canada, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
    #19063

    Charles32271
    Participant

    I can only speak for Americans, and specifically blase white bread middle-class Americans, but I feel part of the disrespect we feel for our elders is due to America’s iconoclastic spirit. We’re constantly indoctrinated that being yourself is the greatest thing in the world, and that no authority is good authority. However, after following this path for nearly fifty years, we’re growing up in the most open, permissive society in the history of the world. We’re supposed to be rebelling against authority, and parents and family are the last authority figures we have left.

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    Name : Charles32271, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 24, City : Albuquerque, State : NM Country : United States, Occupation : Architect, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
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