When my son graduated from high school, he and I were at odds. It had been going on since he was 11 and was struggling with being bullied at school. I was the target for his frustrations when his father was not home. While dad did try to help teach him some self-defense to deal with the bullying, he never addressed the way our son treated me. My husband and I eventually divorced which made things worse.
My son enlisted in the Navy, and stayed with me when he came home on leave. One day I got home to find all the pieces of a computer he had taken apart covering the kitchen table. My son and his friend had gone out and left this mess for me to find. When he returned home, he crashed on the living room floor. The next morning, he left without a word, leaving the kitchen table and living room a disaster area. I was upset by the lack of respect, so I left him a note for when he returned. It said: Dear Son: This is not a hotel and you are not a rock star. I love you and would love to have you stay with me and visit, but if you cannot treat me or our home with respect, then please find somewhere else to stay.”
When I came home, the kitchen and living room were clean, we had a pleasant dinner together and he treated me like his mom and not the cleaning staff. Years later, he tearfully apologized for the way he treated me during those years. We are now closer than ever. While he treats me with the respect I earned, it started by my requiring the respect I deserved.
My Son Gave Me No Respect
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