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Behavior: teach respect for authority

Date: December 13th, 2016
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Authority. Man, this one is absolutely huge. Right from the very youngest of ages, we have to start teaching kids that there is a certain bit-by-bit argument, if you will, behind discipline. There’s value in behaving a certain way, just because of an expectation that’s consistent. I can’t say to the 25 year old state trooper, “Does your mother know you’re out this late?”


I can’t.

I can’t say to my new principal who just got hired – and I’ve been doing this job for 30 something years, and they just walked in, they’re now principal in their fifth year of the educational business, and they’re telling me what to do – I can’t say to them, “Wait a second, kiddo.” That’s not going to fly, because their position commands authority.

That’s a hard thing to learn. When I see little kids in stores, and they’re screaming and talking their parents out of a decision, they’re learning very quickly that there are ways around authority.

That’s why I always say, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Don’t instill a consequence or whatever on a kid, that you can’t follow through on.