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In this day and age, children seem to rule the world. They are catered to by parents who give them what they want materialistically rather than spending quality time with them. Values are left up to school teachers to instill in them instead of the parent taking the responsibility. Our youth are getting out of hand. So how can we help stop this problem?

First and foremost, parents need to remember that it's their job to raise their children. They need to start teaching respect of people, places and things. Children don't just need to be told how to be respectful, though. They need to be shown.

Parents need to teach their children hands-on how to be respectful to others. This includes not yelling at other drivers when driving, shoppers who get in their lane with a cart load of groceries, or the paperboy who still can't get the paper in the sidewalk. Parents all too often forget the old saying "practice what you preach."

What else can parents do to help raise respectful children?

* Teach them as toddlers how to say "thank you" and "excuse me" and other respectful terms.

* Reward respectful behavior with praise. Discourage disrespectful behavior by pointing out when they do it and then explain how they could behave better.

* Teach children that respect doesn't just have to be given to adults. It should be given to everyone, children, too.

* Children should also be taught respect of items such as books, toys and clothes. Helping them to learn this will not only save the life of library books later but will give a longer life to items bought for them thus saving money for parents.

Respect is learned in many different ways. But it is always the parent's job to instill in their children the values of being respectful. And it should begin while they are young and continue from there on out. In the end, the benefits of raising respectful children will be a better future for us all.