Disrespect vs. Lack of Respect
Q: Imagine a 6 year old child asks their parent, “can I watch TV” and the parent says, “no.” If the child gets upset and starts swearing at the parents and spitting in their face, does that child have any respect for the parent?
A: We would argue that they do, because the child recognized the parent’s authority to say “no” and so they’re getting upset because they feel out of control. Now imagine 2 adults. If one of them tells the other, “you can’t watch TV” no one gets upset, because there is no understanding of authority in the relationship. So it’s not that the child doesn’t have respect for that authority figure, it’s the way they show their respect that is an issue. That’s what we help parents work on.