Respect is the esteem for the inherent worth of a person. Respect is the ability to genuinely exhibit this esteem for other people regardless of their race or ethnicity. This special ability has to be learned and is best taught to children by their parents. Today it is frightening to see people who have grown up without this quality. Respect for parental authority is absent in many homes today. Often it is not present in the classroom, making interaction between the teacher and student very difficult. Respect is a concept that has to be taught to children from a very early age if they are to learn it. It must be modeled by parents so that the children see respect demonstrated in the interaction between their mother and father. When mom is respectful of dad and dad is very loving and respectful of mom, they learn this is how they are supposed to treat each other.
The Old Testament instructs parents to teach their children respect for their parents, the elderly and God. The New Testament instructs us to show proper respect for everyone. Respect from the Christian viewpoint begins with the idea that we are created by God for a purpose, and that purpose is to reflect his glory. That means that our lives have purpose and meaning. That purpose is seen when a man and a woman marry for life and choose to bring children into the world. Those children become their responsibility until they reach adulthood. Parents want to see them grow up and become respectful and responsible adults. The job begins with teaching their children to respect their authority as parents. It is sad to see children be disrespectful of their parents, but likely those parents never taught their children about respect. This concept has to be taught and learned because it won’t happen on its own.
The areas of respect begin with respecting their parents and respecting God. Then they include respecting other adults, their peers, respecting those in authority and respecting our property and the property of others. Respect is essential in development because it is the vehicle that facilitates the learning of other important principles of life for children. Gaining a respect for God is the foundation of a meaningful faith. Respect for adults provides the means for the child to interact and communicate in a way that will be mutually beneficial. Respect invites people to share your life. It also enables the child to be socially apt at making friends. Respecting those in authority is the key to social progress— academically, socially and emotionally with people who will play a significant role in their lives. Lastly, learning to respect property, both their own and that of others, helps them to be good stewards of material possessions.