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I believe the two sources for the mitzvah of respecting one's parents stem from these two verses:

Honor your father and mother. Shemos 20:12

You should fear your mother and father. Vayikra 19:3

My question is, what are some logical reasons to tell kids for why they should respect their parents?

Respect is earned... If kids see no reason other than the fact that the Torah says so, or that parents are older and brought the child into the world, the respect may wane or some skewed reasoning may cause it to falter.

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  • Torah the guide to life, and is truth. Respecting parents makes you more of a son/daughter, and makes your parents more of fathers and mothers
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 4, 2023 at 19:48
  • Hopefully, parents will earn their respect! That way the child won't just have to respect out of a service mentality. Dec 5, 2023 at 11:19
  • @EthanLeonard the parents may earn their respect, but the kids don't always recognize that
    – Shababnik
    Dec 5, 2023 at 13:40

1 Answer 1

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Why honor parents? Two reasons: Gratitude and self-interest.

The Sefer HaChinuch, from 13th-century Spain, covers gratitude:

One should appreciate the fact that his parents are the source of his very existence in this world, and it is therefore appropriate for him to act as respectfully and beneficially as he can. Besides having brought him into the world, they also expended tremendous effort in raising him as a child. [Sefer HaChinuch 33]

And Saadia Gaon, from 10th-century Egypt, covers self-interest:

If you take care of your parents, your children will take care of you in your old age, and you will live longer!

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