Respect is something a lot of people, especially kids, seem to be lacking today if you ask most people. True, it is rare to here someone say "Yes sir" to me other than when I'm teaching my martial arts classes. Although martial arts does teach respect amongst other benefits and I truly believe everyone can benefit from it, respect must start at home.
Parents must start teaching their kids respect. If they are doing it, it should be positively reinforced. Not reinforced as in punish your kids if they don't, but positively reinforced. In other words we should encourage our kids to do it and we should lead by example. Yes, this means we must do it.
If we want our kids to be respectful and well mannered, we must be that way also. Everyone has heard this sad but true saying... "If you tell someone they're stupid long enough, they'll start to believe it." Just like we've all seen the commercials about "Parents who use drugs have kids who use drugs." I believe that this is the same way when it comes to respect and manners. If we aren't showing these qualities to our kids, than who is?
If we as parents, or adults in general for that matter, have respect for others and more importantly , show it, then so will our kids. My parents brought me up this way and I'm thankful that my own kids are learning it as well.
We have to lead by example. Let's all try to make it a positive example.