July 23, 2007

Mike Vick, Dog-Fighting, and Parenting Part 2

An Excerpt from "Parenting with Dignity" Book

Here is an excerpt from my book "Parenting with Dignity" that kind of puts in a nutshell how effective parenting skills can arm children against making the kind of terrible decisions that Mike has allegedly made.

Respect for Authority

"Do it because it's the law." Teach your children that a civilized world will always have rules and laws. Teach them that these are not an annoyance; they are an aid to us all. Rules and laws protect our rights, privileges, property, and safety. Explain to them that chaos would result from a society without stop signs, property laws, and rights to privacy, opportunity, expression, and freedom from injury. (Note that it is almost impossible to teach respect for laws and rules if your children see you violate those same rules and laws. You can't speed and then demand that your children drive the speed limit!)

This education about rules and laws can start at a very early age. It really works to point out to kids as young as four or five that a busy intersection simply would not be negotiable without traffic lights. I watch our son teach his kids the meaning of red, yellow, and green lights and how they protect all of us, and it's easy to see why, at three and four, they're able to negotiate intersections by looking at the lights and knowing how to decide when to stop and when to go.

As I work in juvenile prisons (and adult prisons, for that matter), it never ceases to amaze me how almost every kid who is in trouble with the law has little or no knowledge of the very law that they have violated! A child who has a knowledge of laws and an ability to use that knowledge to make decisions is far better equipped for successful living than a child who doesn't!

Check back for the next article as I will highlight some other portions of Parenting with Dignity and how it will help arm your children to make great decisions for themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a young parent who has found your currilum to be a lifesaver as I got little parenting and NO decision making skills from my parents. I think it is a great idea to post some of your book on this blog so people will get a real sense of what Parenting with Dignity is about. I like myself better now that I do parent with some dignity.