We are struggling with an issue at our house, two of our kids see kindness as a weakness. Then they try to exploit that weakness and show disrespect to that person. Our biggest offender is Anthony. We had a long conversation with him tonight. It is a situation that has been building for a while now and I just recently put my finger on it. He shows the most disrespect to those that are kind to him; his teachers, Sarah, my mom's caregiver.
This behavior really bothers me. All these people have given to him, done for him, given of themselves; yet he shows them no respect. He sees them as weak and acts out on that perception. I am at a loss of how to change that perception. He has consequences when he does it, however it does not slow him down.
I have talked to him about how he treats others who give to him. I asked him if he has ever seen me or my husband treat others in a disrespectful way. He said no. I asked him why he thought it was OK to treat others who show kindness to him in such an ugly way. He answered with his usual "I don't know".
I consider myself to be a kind person. I have had people take advantage of that. However, I choose to still be a kind person. It is who and how I choose to be. The first person I am kind to is myself. I can laugh at my mistakes and don't take some things too seriously. However, my kindness doesn't make me weak. When I have a battle to fight I will fight it. I may try to do so with kindness but if that doesn't work I will come on strong. I told him to never mistake my kindness or another persons kindness for weakness. Sometimes it takes a stronger person to be kind when the world is growing so mean.
I know that I didn't change his mind. I hope that our conversation gave him a little food for thought. I also know that I have a zero tolerance for this behavior. I fear that this is a battle that we will be fighting for a long time. Anyone else have this issue? If so, how do you deal with it?