Thursday, February 3

Respect for the Opposite Gender

A lack of respect for the opposite gender is one of the reasons some heterosexual relationships are doomed. Both men and women bloom and grow in a relationship where they are treated with respect. One of the ingredients that comprise true love is respect; the others would be patience, understanding, and honesty.

teach children respect for the opposite gender

This respect for the opposite sex is hard to come by at a time when everything from entertainment to commerce revolves around portrayals of women in demeaning roles and men as blithering idiots. You get more laughs for a sitcom featuring a stupid husband and more clicks for a product featuring a mostly naked woman, even if the product in question is heavy machinery.

Kids grow up absorbing these messages and it comes as no surprise that you see tween girls wearing makeup and little boys referring to women as babes and chicks and other unprintables. This is not their fault; nobody told them about the need to respect other human beings and be treated with respect in turn.

Why Kids Lose Respect

There was a time when parents, teachers, police, community leaders, and other figures of authority were treated with respect as a matter of norm. For various reasons this naturally accorded respect came under question. In a way you could say it was brought on by these figures themselves when they exposed their feet of clay. And not many would disagree with me when I say most of today's leaders barely deserve any respect.

While we can hold corrupt cops, uncaring parents, and ignorant teachers as reasons why the word respect has ceased to be relevant for today's teens, it is not advisable to let the whole concept of respect take a beating due to a few bad apples.

Respect is an age old concept. In the ancient world respect was an invaluable and hard earned commodity. They also knew it was something that needed to be maintained with vigilance for it was something that could be just as quickly lost.

So is it viable in this day and age when nobody seems to care that much about it? Yes, it is. Remember how quickly Tiger Woods lost all his endorsements days after he lost his squeaky, clean, respectful image? Respect is an important social behaviour and you need to teach your child to treat others, especially those of the opposite sex with respect.

What Parents Need to Do

Instil respect for each other in girls and boys. Often they get along quite naturally till socially conditioned roles come into play and point out alleged weaknesses and idiocy. Some competition and leg pulling is natural and healthy as long it is between kids in the same age group, and not based exclusively on gender.

Respect for the opposite gender is important for healthy mental growth

Don't invite them to join you in putting down your spouse or any one else based on gender. Refrain from making dude jokes and blonde jokes before them at least till they attain the maturity to appreciate the humour and not take in only the put down.

Treat your partner with love and respect, especially before your kids. Your behaviour towards your partner influences their future adult behaviour. A basic respect for the opposite gender fosters beautiful, nurturing adult relationships. This rarely, if ever, comes about all of a sudden in adulthood. So it is up to parents to do their bit in inculcating it quite easily and naturally into their childrearing practices.

All Photographs Courtesy 


  1. Lovely post. Respect for the opposite sex really needs to be taught to kids these days.

  2. Well written Liz. I like your blog and the way you pick obvious and yet neglected issues regarding childbearing.Sure these tips need to be kept in mind by all parents. Regarding this post I think the last para says the most important thing.its through parent's behaviour towards each other that children learn to respect(or not) the opposite gender.

  3. Thanks,Betty. I'm sure we can make a difference if we catch 'em young.

  4. I really appreciate your indepth comment, Pinkali, Thanks!And yes,my blog is about stating the obvious that has somehow ceased to be important.

  5. a beautiful and a meaningful post =)
    through respect comes a good relationship - true that ^^

  6. Thank you Saykaimono. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Respect does form the cornerstone for any relationship :)

  7. very well said and very well written atleast by seeing this blog people would start realising the importance and values of the opposite sex and people would realise that demeaning people and condescending people would only bring them back trouble.

  8. I could not resist commenting. Well written!

  9. This is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Many thanks for
    sharing this one. A must read article!

  10. Good write-up. I definitely love this website. Thanks!


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