By the very definition of the word, respect means to look at something anew/again. Both in the etymological sense (Latin: re – again, spectare – to look at). Also, if we just look at how English works: when we in-spect something, we look into something, so what do we do when we re-spect something? Makes sense, right?
Now, what do children do more actively than anything else? They explore, test and repeat things over and over again, yet with the enthusiasm of doing it for the first time (which means they see the situation with fresh eyes). But more importantly, they adapt and learn through those actions, which means they do not have set in stone ideas and ideologies about things and thus by definition absolutely embody respect.
Could it be that children are reacting to the many absurd and rigid habbits that most of us adults have undoubtedly collected throughout our lives, and so by repeatedly not being able to make sense of it, they “defy” us? In other words: they trying desperately to shake us out of our trances.
If so, I would suggest that they are showing us the utmost respect and if we can respect ourselves enough to see that, we all stand to gain so so much.
So, what would it really cost us to show more respect? Our pride? Having to endure the fear of the unknown? In the grand scheme of things, they are small prices to pay, wouldn’t you say?