Tuesday, August 11, 2009


With all, ahem, respect to Aretha Franklin, this post is about respect.

My good friend and fellow blogger, Sarah Ludwig (remember her from the blogathon?) is running a wonderful contest on her blog, Parenting By Trial and Error. She's giving away a book called The Secrets of Happy Families: Eight Keys to Building a Lifetime of Connection and Contentment.

Today she has an exceprt on her blog, and it's all about -- you guessed it -- respect: "It’s only natural that as individuals spend more time together, they will find things that irritate, annoy, or otherwise rub them the wrong way."

That's only the first sentence, but it definitely caught my attention! My boys are pros at irritating, annoying and otherwise rubbing each other the wrong way. And despite multiple conversations about the importance of respect, the concept just doesn't seem to be sinking on. As I told Sarah, my boys don't seem to understand why anyone, ever, would want to respect their brother. (Especially if he can hit him on the head instead.)

But this is the lesson I need to get through to my boys: "Respect doesn’t mean you have to like all aspects of any family member’s behavior...Respect [means] that you always treat all family members with dignity and seek a way to understand the world through their eyes."

Sound like a lesson your boys could use? Pop over to Sarah's blog and enter her contest.

I did!


  1. Sounds like a lesson anyone can use. ;-)

  2. Don't piss me off. "Respect" is by Otis Redding.

    Among boys, respect is earned by testing each other by irritating, teasing, hitting, competing, etc. These interactions between boys (of all ages) determine the amount of respect earned. This masculine pecking order is constantly being challenged, sometimes in an effort to change positions, other times to confirm your slot, always to define identity.

    So what earns the respect of young boys?
    Physical Build

    Hopefully (not always) maturity eventually has an effect and things like intelligence and treating others with dignity and kindness make their ways onto and up the list.