When children understand the purpose of law and authority, they learn to respect it. Here are some ways to teach them why rules exist.
By Parama Gupta
As children grow up, they need to learn that they have to respect law and authority. In these days of rebellions and protests, it is easy for them to feel that there is no harm in disobeying the law. But, you should make your children realise that this is not the case, and disobeying the law can land them in trouble.
Here are five ways in which you can teach children to respect law and authority.
Explain to your children why it is important for them to obey the law in their daily lives. Describe to them how laws ensure the larger good of the society and the well-being of individuals. Explain to them the consequences of breaking laws. When they understand the role played by laws in ensuring order in the society, they will respect and follow them wholeheartedly.
Your own attitude towards law and authority plays an important role in determining how your children perceive it. Children observe to what extent you obey and respect laws in your daily life. While there is no harm in debating about laws that may not fulfil their objectives, make sure that your criticism is constructive. Otherwise, your children may end up getting the wrong signal and believing that it is alright to not obey a law that they think is flawed.
Teach children to stick to their values and to stand up for what they think is right. However, at the same time, explain that it is important to protest in the right way, without resorting to violence or acts that could damage public property. Encourage them to write to officials asking them to address their grievances and follow-up to make sure they take action.
Whenever possible, arrange opportunities for your children to interact officials who enforce the law. For example, you can set up a visit to the nearby police station where your children can spend some time with an officer who is willing to talk to them about the importance of laws. This will also help them understand the gravity of the work done by these officials.
An effective way to teach children to follow laws is to ensure that they follow the rules you have set for them at home. Following the rules at home will make them accustomed to following the rules of the larger society. Similarly, you need to play an active part in ensuring that they diligently follow rules of school such as being punctual, wearing proper uniforms, following exam hall etiquette, and so on. When you visit public places, be it a park or the library, teach them to abide by the rules in these places.
Learning to respect law and authority will help your children adjust easily and well in the society when they grow up. So, make sure you that you start laying strong foundations early on.
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