Some parents are teaching their kids that they don't have to show their teacher kindness or respect until the teacher proves that they deserve it.
While growing up, the majority of kids were taught to respect their elders, especially their parents and teachers. However, of late, parents are raising their children with the idea that respect has to be earned even if it’s older people. A music teacher named Teresa Kaye Newman–who goes on TikTok by @teresakayenewman–posted a video sparking a debate on the topic. The teacher who has observed misbehavior and lack of respect from Gen Alpha has often created content to talk about the same and urge parents to teach children to respect teachers. She recently shared a video with a comment that said respect is earned, but Newman clearly disagreed.
“Parents are now teaching kids that teachers have to earn the respect of their kids. Not only that, they are also being taught that it is non-reciprocal, which means they have to do nothing to earn their teacher’s respect,” Newman said. She then said that she had 3 problems, which is why she disagreed with the aforementioned idea. “Firstly, we should be teaching our kids that respect and kindness is a baseline condition,” the teacher said. She then highlighted that the problem was that kids expected teachers to show respect to children without doing any work, but it was not the same for teachers.
“The second issue I have is that not only are we teaching kids that those outside their personal sphere have to earn their respect to be shown kindness, but we are also teaching them that any kind of reaction to a perceived disrespect is appropriate,” Newman explained. The teacher further mentioned that there is a danger with such kind of upbringing, given the importance of knowing the context of the situation and the way the world will work for kids when they are adults. Newman further connected the increase in disputes between adults due to a similar upbringing.
“An overblown reaction from somebody who feels slighted by a retail worker has grown because people think it’s okay to scream or curse if they feel even a little disrespect,” she said. She urged the need to teach kids to be more diplomatic as it would be a requirement in social settings when they are adults.
The third reason Newman pointed out was that one’s actions can affect people who are around. “If you’re a student that walks into class and decides you’re gonna act whatever way you want to act and disrupt the lesson, you’re disrupting the learning environment for every other student,” she said. The teacher also explained that such a learning concept about respect would make children selfish and they’d neglect the feelings of others.
The teacher had more to add to the topic, which she did in several follow-up videos. Many fellow educators related to Newman’s point of view and agreed that such an upbringing is an unwanted and disturbing idea that will lead to repercussions in the future.
@msjennifer added to Newman’s words, saying, “This is why some kids have problems keeping friends as well.” Several older generations shared how they were taught that teachers impart education and automatically earn respect, given their role. @calculatorsalad clarified, “Trust is earned respect is a prerequisite.”