Boy Learns Respect

By: Whitney Swenson

Boy Learns Respect



Parents Stunned... Delighted! By Dion Riccardo

This isn't too surprising in a 15 year old. Smart "Rock Solid" parents understand that kids must be taught respect.

Although Tony was disrespectful at home and at school, he was very polite and respectful in the Karate school. He loved the protocol and the politeness of the Martial Arts.

I said to him, "Tony, why do you like it here?"

He said, "I dunno...I guess because of all the teachers have done in Karate. I respect that." He added, "Plus, everybody is nice to me."

"Tony, can you see how it works? You are respected here because you are respectful."

"What do you mean?"

"Tony, would you be disruptive or disrespectful here? Would you be verbally disrespectful to your Martial Art teachers?"

"No way!"

Tony wanted, more than anything else, to be respected.

I began to show Tony how his disrespectful attitude outside of the Martial Arts was hurting him.

And how he really owed far more respect to his family and his school teachers than he did to his Martial Art teachers.

Tony began to understand. We made a plan:



1. Appearance.

"Tony, why is your Karate uniform always so neat and clean?"

"I just like it that way, I guess."

"Well, you certainly seem to take pride in your appearance when you come to Karate. I respect that, and so do your Karate teachers."

I began to help Tony see that certain types of dress were appropriate with his friends, in social settings...but were not appropriate around his family and in school. We discussed the value in taking pride in one's appearance as a way of earning respect.

2. Language.

Tony had such a sullen, negative way of speaking that people automatically interpreted it as disrespect.

What's more, he seldom looked anybody in the eye when he spoke.

We began working on making eye contact with people, and using a more enthusiastic voice tone.

The occasional "Yes, Sir!" and "Yes, Ma'am" when talking with parents and teachers was one way that we used to show them that Tony was making an effort to be respectful.

3. Obey "rules of the house."

...just like he was doing in the Karate school.

Tony had never given any thought to the fact that he should be respecting the rules of his parent's home. And yet, when he came to his "karate home," he always understood that certain rules of conduct applied.

We discussed the importance of avoiding bad language, and rowdy behavior, observing curfews, and all other type of family rules.

Tony was a good kid with some misguided thinking. He thought, "I am not going to respect anybody who doesn't respect me." He didn't understand that you must first give respect in order to get respect.

When Tony began to change, his entire world began to change.

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