I was just thinking...about teaching kids to "respect" elders...
This morning someone posted a video on Facebook of a setup where a 7-year old is being abducted by a guy (actor) who is not her dad and she's yelling, "Help! Help! You're not my dad!" and you see all the people on the street just passin' them by until finally a couple of guys run at the man and are ready to take him out.
(Here's the video: ATTENTION: Your kids need to know this <3)
It got me thinking about how we teach our kids to avoid abduction...
On the one hand...parents teach their kids to refer to all adults as "Miss" and "Mister" and to "mind" them and never question...questioning the parents or other grown-ups is rebellion and punishable. They do this because they believe they are teaching their children "respect". But, are they?
Imagine a kid who is taught to "respect" grown-ups and not question or else they're being naughty...The more you do something...the more you "practice" it the better you get at it, right? So, grown-ups tend to tell kids to do things they don't like or want to do all the time. Right? But, a child who is taught to "mind" and not question or challenge their parents or any adult's commands will have to do these things or else get punished. They practice this every time a grown up tells them things like to "go to bed" when they're not tired and they are not allowed to "complain" about it. Over and over they practice being told something they disagree with...not balking...and doing what they're told. This is how they're taught to respect their parents and the other adults around them.
So, what is a kid to do when a grown-up approaches them tells them something they don't like or don't want to do and it happens to be an order to "come with him" (as in the event of an abduction)?
What if... one of the grown-up aides at the VBS that the child is trained to not "question" gets that kid alone and tells them to do something the kid would not like or not want to do with their body?
What if... a babysitter (whom they were instructed to respect the same as their parents when their parents are away) let her boyfriend come over and he got one of the children alone and told the child to do something the child didn't like or want to do to his body?
Are children who are taught to not complain...not argue...not "challenge" or "question" authority...being protected by their parents? Are they being taught to "respect"?
Really...we need to think about what we are REALLY teaching our kids with the things we do with them...