Irene, “Treat children with respect.” Tip 10
I found such wisdom in Irene’s tips. Having known her as a little girl herself, I can see how she’s grown nicely into Motherhood.
I related to, and have tried to practice, all of the tips recommended by Irene. I think her final tip, “Treat children with respect,” was most controversial during my parenting days, a time when respect for children was not so understood.
I know there is a belief for some, children are not worthy of respect, under the theory “to-be-seen-not-heard.” There was, and can still be, a school of thought upholding shut down, shut up, and sometimes even the use of force. It isn’t always popular to treat your children with respect.
I’d like to think respecting children is more popular these days. I believe it has become widely accepted.
I respected Michael. In demonstrating that, I would ask his opinion, and allow him to be at the table (not always, but often). I considered him an individual. I helped him to develop his own thoughts, not insist he blindly accept mine. I think growing up in a respectful environment has been a key contributing factor to the man he is today.
Michael feels less than no one, and treats no one any less. I am proud to say, he does not have toxic, or disrespectful people in his life. I recall a direct quote from him, just recently, “Mom, I have a lot of real love in my life, I don’t have time for dysfunctional love.” (That was not directed at me, by the way! Thankfully!)
I’m pleased to know Michael doesn’t have time for “dysfunctional love.” I’m thrilled his mind is not scrambled trying to sort out, and understand, toxic messages and damaged people. Michael is not trying to make sense out of non-sense, what freedom!
Because Michael was given respect, he has come to expect the same from others. He does not settle for less.
Hopefully, Irene and I have spared our children from unnecessary hassles and sadness, by demonstrating and instilling respect. I know one thing, she and I will never stop trying, and never stop respecting our children.
It’s been wonderful to have known Irene all these years. She continues to be a strong, independent, role model for others especially her little girl – just as the strong females in her family have modeled for her.