Social Question

Aster's avatar

What behaviors should result in a mother getting no respect from her son?

Asked by Aster (19984points) July 14th, 2010

I am a strong believer in showing respect for your parents. Even if they aren’t model parents. But are there Any behaviors by a parent that you think should release a teenager from needing to show respect? Actions so vile that it seems reasonable for the teen to treat the parent like a doormat or worse?

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31 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

Being disrespectful towards her son. Respect is a two-way street and if you don’t show it, than you’ll loose it yourself as well.

Besides…. that is only just a ticket to play, no guarantee to win…. love care and all the other things a parent needs to do. In good times and in poorer times.

john65pennington's avatar

If the mother is a prostitute, alcoholic or drug addict.

How can you respect anyone with the above addictions?

Aster's avatar

@whitenoise So you think if a parent talks disrespectfully to her son or daughter it is alright if the child tells him/her to shut up or worse?
@john65pennington If a parent is mentally unstable , resulting in depression and drug addiction he or she should just accept it as their just due when their child says, “drop dead.”
This is truly interesting to me.

whitenoise's avatar

i said being disrespectful…. But as a rule of thumb… don’t do upon others…

john65pennington's avatar

Aster. there is all kinds of medication out there for depression. addiction is no excuse.

whitenoise's avatar


I don’t feel that your description would in itself be enough reason to loose one’s entitlement to respect. Even addicts and certainly prostitutes could very well be very moral ethical people, worthy of our respect.

stardust's avatar

@Aster Ideally we’d all be respectful of one another, but as @whitenoise said, respect is a two way street.
I don’t believe it’s helpful to be disrespectful to a parent(or anyone) regardless, but it’s such a grey area & not having ones needs met by a parent in such a way, as say @john65pennington suggests wouldn’t lay the strongest foundation for respect. It’s far too complex.

janbb's avatar

Abusive behavior, constant put-downs, trying to destroy the appropriate autonomy of the child…

whitenoise's avatar

@Aster…. There are actually two points of view…. whether a parent can demand /deserve/loose respect and whether a son choose treat a parent disrespectful.

Now that I think of it a little further… I initially answered your question as loosing the right to respect.

I also believe, however, that no behavior whatsoever would entitle a child to be disrespectful… My father lost my respect, but I would never treat him disrespectful. I try my utmost to stay away from him, however. does that make sense to you?

stardust's avatar

@whitenoise I agree. I too have lost respect for a parent, yet I would not act out & be disrespectful towards him. I simply stay away from him. Ultimately I feel that being disrespectful towards another is being disrespectful of oneself.

whitenoise's avatar

@stardust I’m with you…

Aster's avatar

What if its a child who cannot just stay away but needs the parent to raise him but the parent cannot always be depended upon to provide stability? Should that parent have respect from the child?

rebbel's avatar

Unloving behaviour.
In the literal meaning of the word.

cookieman's avatar

There is a difference between being polite, courteous and tactful and being respectful.

I feel you should always strive to be polite, courteous and tactful toward your parents.

Respect on the other hand must be earned. I see no reason to respect anyone if they have not earned it and their behavior does not warrant it.

I expect my daughter to always be polite, courteous and tactful toward me. Her respect I earn every day through my actions.

WestRiverrat's avatar

A parent doing something like this would do it for me. Only thing this mom earned in my opinion is a rope.

Haleth's avatar

@cprevite Well put! Young children think their parents are perfect. Part of growing up is realizing that they are human, and they have flaws. Sometimes parents are so flawed and human that they lose our respect. But they are still our elders, and put a lot of effort into raising us in most cases. That definitely merits some politeness, courtesy, and tact.

john65pennington's avatar

I stand pat on my answer, its based on many years of experience and arresting juveniles that violate the law, simply because of abuse by one or more parents. you cannot respect what you hate and some of these kids really hated their parents.

Pandora's avatar

There is a difference in being a breeder and being a mother.
A real mother protects, loves and supports their child and will consider what is in the best interest of the child before themselves.
For this type a person, there is no reasonable reason for a child to be disrespectful unless the child has some mental defect. Or in some moments, just going through puberty.
For the breeder, there may be many reasons for the child to be disrespectful.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

How about reporting to the police that he uttered threats to kill her and brandished a weapon
at age 12 when no such thing ever happened other than he wanted to be allowed to be with his father who had joint custody and actually loved and cared for him.

He was arrested and locked up for weeks in a rather stark and severe detention unit with no privileges at all because of the severe charges until his court hearing where his mother refused to attend. She eventually dropped the charges under pressure from the other children.

I think that would be sufficient. Don’t you?

dpworkin's avatar

I think one earns respect. No one is entitled to respect because of the mere fact of being a parent. Every rat or squirrel has children.

cookieman's avatar

@dpworkin: ”Every rat and squirrel has children.


Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Just like with any important relationship, respect should be both given and received – if a child truly believes they are not respected by their parent, they are free to disrespect their parent…of course, especially during the teenager years, that perception exists whether or not the parent is actually disrespecting their child…I know that when it comes to my children, I don’t simply expect respect from them and I don’t expect anything out of them just because I’m their parent. That being said, because I do treat them with respect and love them and make it a point to keep them happy, I, at the very least, expect basic respect and good will back as I would from anyone.

Facade's avatar

@dpworkin I’ve always felt that way too…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

There are two types of respect: Position and Personal.

Position respect is automatically awarded to people who are in an authority position, be it a parent, supervisor, or the security at an airport check point. The list goes on and on. Personal respect is earned by people who treat you well, show concern, walk the talk, etc.

For a parent to lose both personal and position respect of a child is going to take a lot, including the time to see that the behavior doesn’t change. There is no “list” of what those things might be…it differs in every situation.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m just sort of curious as to why people reasonably expect their children to always be polite, courteous and tactful with their parents, when their parents don’t model that behavior with their children—or even with other adults.

“Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t cut it. It is, I think, hypocritical to expect children to behave in a better way than their parents. It does happen, I believe, on extremely rare occasions.

cookieman's avatar

@wundayatta: I always model polite, courteous and tactful behavior with my child. That’s why I expect it in return.
To do otherwise would be hypocritical as you say.

“Do as I say, not as I do” : I’m pretty sure no one here prescribes to that. I know I don’t.

wundayatta's avatar

@cprevite Then you have a right to expect it in return. My children are always cooperative, but they don’t always treat me in a manner that makes me feel comfortable. They will make fun of me on occasion. But then, sometimes I make fun of them.

cookieman's avatar

@wundayatta: Well sure. For example, I can be a wise guy. My daughter gives it right back to me. I don’t see that as impolite though – it’s all in good fun (as I suspect the teasing you do with your children is as well).

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If you don’t respect that doesn’t also give you license to treat that person badly. I don’t respect parents who abuse/neglect their children but I wouldn’t feel it’s right for the kids to go on the offensive and become abusive themselves. You can emotionally buffer or protect yourself without becoming a dick to your folks, really.

wundayatta's avatar

@cprevite Well, I believe my teasing is in good fun, but I am aware that many people who are teased “in good fun” don’t think it’s good fun. Feelings can be hurt, but they hide it in order to show the bullies they haven’t had an effect. I don’t know where the line between bully and “in good fun” is. I’m sure it varies with different people.

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