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PARENTING : RESPECT MEANS NOT CALLING PARENTS BY THEIR FIRST NAMES.

Byline: Greg Steckler and Gerald Deskin

Should your children call you by your first name? Children call their friends by their first name, and, although we all want a ``friendly relationship'' with our children, we also demand respect for our parental authority.

Parents need to clarify very early in a child's life that their role is different from that of their friends, even though the relationship often can be ``friendly.'' It is not just a matter of formality, but a respect for each other's roles. In a good way, children need to be taught to respect their parents' roles as care givers and authority figures in a quite different way than they relate to friends.

Transfer of training means that children learn their basic lessons at home when they are very young and transfer these lessons to other authority figures such as teachers. Hopefully, they learn not only to love their parents, but also to respect them. The lessons they learn become evident when they start to move away from home. As they enter preschool and kindergarten they often treat their teachers the way they learn to treat their parents at home. If they do not respect their parents, they will not transfer this training to their teachers. By the time they leave home and get a job, we hope they will transfer respectful attitudes to their bosses.

What a child calls an adult is not just a matter of etiquette or manners. As one moves through life and plays different roles, each child needs to learn respect for authority. This does not mean slavish acceptance by someone higher on the pecking order, but willingness to accept the rules of society. Most of us learn these lessons very early.

Respect for authority, starting with child-parent relationships, is among the most important lessons a child learns. Children learn that if a friend says to do something they don't want to do, they can say no. However, if an authority figure, such as a parent, says to perform some task now, the child needs to know the difference and do what he or she is told.

Suggestions for parents: 1. It is essential that your child show respect for your role as a parent. If your child attempts to blur that parent-child relationship by calling you by your first name, put a stop to it. 2. A child usually has many friends, but usually only one or two parents at home. Parents need to demand respect for the important role they are playing in their child's life.
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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 21, 1999
Words:425
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