Teens who respect elders have much to gain from them in return.

Why Should Teens Respect Their Elders?

by Martha Holden

Parents and elders at times have to handle disrespectful behavior from children, especially during the teen years. Common signs of disrespect among teens include talking back to elders or disregarding instructions given by adults. Although you can blame bad attitude or rudeness in your teenage child on hormonal changes, it is important to teach your child the importance of respecting their elders.

1. Knowledge

The teen years are a transitional age, and the support of society -- especially elders -- is essential in helping teenagers get through this stage. Elders, including parents, teachers and relatives, represent a well of knowledge. Teens who respect elders encourage elders to impart knowledge and wisdom to them in regard to life experiences, values and morals that are vital guiding principles. Respecting teachers also creates a suitable environment to improve education.

2. Humanity

Respect is a core value of many people. Teaching teens to respect their elders breeds other essential life values, such as compassion, humility, fairness and responsibility. It creates a special bond between the elderly generation and teens. It also serves as a sign of respect for teens to spend time with their elders, especially senior citizens who may be lonely and in need of company.

3. Breeding Respect

Teenagers will not stay in their youth forever; some day, they also will become elders. Helpful advice to teens is to uphold respect toward their elders and treat elders in the same capacity as they would like to have future youth treat them. Respect begets respect. When parents ingrain the importance of respecting elders in teens, the teenagers pass these values to other children and future generations.

4. Future Interactions

Parents may not always be there to guide their children, especially when they grow up and leave for college or seek jobs. They meet different elderly people who act as supervisors, instructors or employers. Teaching a teenager the value of upholding respect increases his chances of progressing and relating better with people he meets in his everyday life. People are generally more inclined to help or interact with someone who projects a sense of respect for his elders.

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