According to OK Bail Bonds (www.okbailbonds.net), expecting your kids to respect the law without observing the same rules yourself is futile. So, the first rule to instilling respect in your kids is to show it yourself. Beyond that, there are ways you can inform your children on how to show proper respect to the officers and other law enforcement professionals that work hard to protect them, along with teachers and yourselves as parents.
Don’t Fudge on the Little Things
We all do it. Sneaking a grape or two or ten in the supermarket while no one’s looking. Rushing to get to an appointment. Going over the speed limit and ignoring simple road signs. Texting while driving. Downloading music illegally. These things may seem benign, but in fact they are examples of the way we break the law in little ways every day. And your children are watching, observing, and learning. Adjust your behaviors to show your little ones that even popping a harmless grape in the grocery store is considered stealing. If your child is the one stealing, such as taking gum from a store without paying, take him or her back to the store to either pay for the item or leave it there. Explaining clearly why that was wrong and aligning yourself on their side without making them feel like a common thief will drive the point home and teach them what’s right.
Teach Often and Early
Kids are sponges, especially from a very early age. You may not realize it but they are learning from everything you do. Make every day a teachable moment to respect authority. Don’t threaten your child with calling the police for bad behavior. This may work in the short term, but you’re only teaching your child to respect police officers out of fear and not trust. In addition, this only works so many times before it is ineffective.
Basic Social Skills
Teaching your kids basic social skills and manners will help them out as they begin their own interactions at school and in the company of authority figures such as police officers. Instilling respect for others helps them acknowledge their impact on other people, says Empowering Parents.
Talk About Consequences
Explaining what the laws are, both in society and in the home, is the first step to a healthy respect for authority. The next step is to explain the consequences of breaking the law so that your children are aware of what will happen to them if they disobey. Explain that consequences are not so much a punishment but an assurance of safety as well. What happens if you disregard roadway signs and fail to stop at a red light? You could get in an accident and get hurt or hurt others. Same with crossing at designated crosswalks only. This also goes for laws of the classroom and the home. For example, why does your child have to listen to the teacher quietly without interrupting? Why do they have to stand quietly in line at lunch? Why do they have to do their chores at home? These are all rules that they must obey in order to comply with the laws of each circumstance.
Teaching your kids to respect the law isn’t easy. As said above, you have to teach by example, so you may have to look inside yourself to find the answer first. In the end, if you do your job right, you can ensure you’re raising a respectful person who is mindful of the laws of society.
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