The halakhot (Jewish laws) pertaining to respect for one's parents or rabbi are numerous and emphasize that betters should be revered.
In daily family life it is, of course, not possible (particularly in the case of children) to observe all the niceties of good conduct and ceremony, and there were those who said that the parent or rabbi who agreed to forgo honor was honored nonetheless.
On the other hand, a monarch is forbidden to forgo honor since, unlike the case of the parent or rabbi, the king's honor is not his alone, and respect is paid to the monarchy as such.
The rabbi, whose wisdom is self-accomplished (or, similarly, the parent), is entitled to renounce honor and ceremony.
Therefore, although it was said that the son was forbidden to sit on his father's chair, to contradict him, or do anything in his presence without his permission, particularly if it entailed disrespect, these injunctions were not observed strictly and were generally applied only when the sons reached adulthood and were themselves eager to honor their parents.
An amusing illustration of this attitude is found in the talmudic sources.
A father's will stipulated that he was leaving his property to his son on condition that the son become a fool.
The sages could find no logical explanation for the strange document and appealed to R. Joshua Ben Hananiah, who was renowed as a great scholar and a very shrewd man.
When they arrived at his some, they found him crawling on all fours, his small son riding on his back.
The sages waited respectfully, lest they disturb their rabbi at play.
When they eventually asked his opinion of the will, he replied:
"You yourselves have seen the meaning.
The father meant to say that his son should come into the inheritance when he himself had children."
Correct deportment and conduct were part of that da'at (knowledge) which it was incumbent on every man to acquire, and, as the sages themselves emphasized time and time again, this also encompassed the ability to discern when it was permissible to deviate from halakhah and the laws governing conduct.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Essential Talmud, p.210, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz