by Nellie Shani
4/10/2010 / Parenting
Honoring father and mother is the fifth Commandment that God gave to the children of Israel on Mount Sinai. God did not suggest that it was good if perhaps children would consider honoring their parents as often as possible! It was a command. The dishonor of parents has become like a malignant tumor that is eating away at the 21st Century home. Once again, let us listen to this conversation between mother and daughter.
Janice(silence)Hey Janice!...(Silence)(volume of the television is increased)Janice!...(Mother walks into the living room where Janice is sprawled on the sofa watching television)Jani What do you want mother!? Janice rolls her eyes and explodes. Where did you put the invitation letter to the PTA tea? mum shouts above the noise of the television. Janice ignores her mother and increases the volume again. Janice! Leave me alone mum cant you see Im busy? Gee! Janice shouts back. Dad walks in. What is going on here? Janice reduce that volume right now! Janice turns off the television with an attitude, matches past her dad, walks out the front door and kicks it shut with her foot.
The onus is upon parents to teach their children to honor them as soon as they see the first sign of dishonor regardless of how young the child might be. If you are trying to teach your children to honor and respect you when they are already teenagers, then it is too late. Rude and disrespectful teenagers were most probably also rude and disrespectful when they were much younger. I have often heard little children speak rudely to their parents and have been shocked when their parents have done nothing about it. I am the fifth born of a family of eight children so by the time I was learning how to be rude, my parents had become a bit lax with the rod, but my older sisters took on that responsibility with remarkable enthusiasm! My tone of voice, which tended to be rude even when I was quite young, reformed rather quickly with a little help from the rod. Rudeness in the form of action, speech, attitude and tone of voice was not tolerated in the least bit, in our house. Not only what we said but, how we said it would bring us in contact with the feared rod. As I look back today, it is surprising that the famous teenage years when youngsters are supposed to change from angel to monster, never occurred with any of us. Children dont suddenly change when they become teenagers. The hormonal changes just give them greater boldness to do at a higher degree, what they have always done.
Children should not be allowed under any circumstances to speak to their father or mother in a rude or obnoxious way. Since most children spend more time with their mothers than they do their fathers, sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. A lot of children find it a lot easier to be rude to their mothers than they do their fathers. In cases like this, if the father is around, the onus is upon him to make sure that his children honor their mother. Unfortunately single- parent homes are becoming more and more common today, and single mothers, are having to deal with bringing up their children all on their own. However, even in single- parent homes, if a child is brought up to respect his or her mother early enough, he or she will not depart from it when they grow up as the Bible says. As with the case of teaching obedience, consistency is key when teaching honor and respect. A parent should not punish a child for being rude one time, and then let them off the hook the next time.
Nellie Odhuno Shani is a Counselor, Conference speaker and writer. Her first books are available on amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles and on her author's websites.
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