R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Let’s do something to improve it 0



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My article yesterday about R-E-S-P-E-C-T hit a nerve, there is no doubt about it.  Read it here… http://www.startsatsixty.com.au/a-generation-without-respect/

Our community is clearly frustrated by the attitudes of some young people, and their lack of respect for age, experience and authority.  Our Facebook page was torn up with comments, most horrified at the disrespect they receive on a regular basis.
What many agreed on is that the early instilment of family values is the most important thing that contributes to the youth of today’s desire and ability to respect others older than them.  Many who have raised their own children feel they have done well in the cultivation of respecting young people, and I don’t doubt you have.


What I want to share is that the response we received was largely very negative and validated the problem of lack of respect as a real issue, but very few people offered any constructive ideas or positive ways we could help to change this.


One of the drivers for me writing this article is the reminder from the song by Aretha Franklin which was released 44 years ago this week.  The song created an uprising of people who wanted to fight for their civil rights, both blacks and women at different times adopted this anthem as their own… now I suggest the over 60s adopt it.


We have to become active in the reinstalment of high quality respect-worthy values in our youths of today, and the only way this will happen is if we drive for it.  If we come up with a logical solution that might change people’s opinions of our over 60s and allow them to respect the value you can offer in the world, in their world… which is how they think of it, maybe just maybe we can make a difference.


So instead of listing what irks you about the younger generation, today I ask you to come up with solutions… ways we can build respect for authority, respect for the older members of our community and respect that will last for generations to come in our little but big country.

Our little country has led the way for many in this world… maybe we can lead the way here too…


Are you willing to mentor a young person lost in their way?


Are you interested in creating an event that brings together school students all over the country and networks them with the older generation teaching them your value and helping to understand and connect with theirs?


Could we suggest a program for our national curriculum?  Or could we build a video or series that could be run in schools over a period of weeks?

Tell me your suggestions and, why don’t we “define” a list of positive values we want in our Australian youths… if we can, we work out what we want them to know about respect and then we can work out what strategies we can put in place to rebuild it…

List away… and please, stay positive … we’re an active community that can find a solution… not just complain about the problem. Or at least, I hope we are…

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I also think we oldies should also respect the younger generation , if they aren’t being taught at home ( this is our generations children)maybe they can learn from example, its wrong to say all are rude and have no manners as this is not true.

  2. I’ve tried and tried to think of something but first off, we’d need to get the youngsters to want to learn about respect and kindness without being too “preachy”. How would we go about doing that?

    The above article is very thought provoking and maybe what we need is to come together as a community and work for the common good.

    If we can foster respect, helpfulness, kindness to others and animals plus anger management, not only among our youth but among each other, it would go a long way to start solving the problem

  3. I feel our youth lost respect once we allowed the discipline in our schools and in our homes to change.
    Teachers in schools do not command respect because of the way they dress. Casual dress attracts a casual response. The “naughty corner ” and “your grounded ” doesn’t cut it with me. You just need a positive command . Kids need to have positive directions and this should give them respect .

  4. We need to start in the cradle to teach self respect and self love. If the don’t respect and like themselves there is no chance of them respecting others. Children need discipline and boundaries. They should get theses from their parents with their teaching reinforcing not being the person who teaches them. They are in school to learn how to read and write. Their manners should be already a natural part of life by the time they start school.
    In my humble opinion we need more parents to actually be parents and less small children in care for 12 hours a day. We need to look at the way we live our lives from the start. I know that I am old fashioned in my views but Ii firmly believe that if you have a child you make raising that child your priority. No one seems to be happy starting with a small home and building toward bigger and better over several years. They want it all now and it is the children who lose out. They live most of their young lives before going to school with rooms full of strangers who have no real time to teach them about good manners etc etc.
    how do we change things? Maybe by value ing the children more. I know many lovely young people who have all the good manners and respect for self and others. They have had good grounding from infancy. Too late to start when they are teens and being obnoxious. Not true. It is never too late to start and a mentoring programmer in schools with the older generation is a good way to do it. Talk with them and not at them and the feedback is great. Treat them with respect for their ideas and you will go a long way to resolution

  5. I am a “Golden Oldie “of 80 years & I am & have been appalled at the lack of respect from children from as young as 2 years I blame this solely on the way they are brought up So many mothers introduce you to their children by your given name instead of your title I taught my grandchildren to call my friends as follows Mrs Betty or Mr Harry whatever their given names were I started this trend because some of my friends had surnames that were difficult for a child to pronounce If a child is not taught respect ,by the time he or she is a teenager they have no respect for anybody including themselves

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