By Will Bail
When it comes to parental responsibility, keeping our children safe is of paramount importance. And when they are old enough to understand right from wrong and are given some freedom to go out and do things on their own, they should know about laws and contracts. The earlier that they learn about what is expected by the community as safe and proper behavior, the better prepared they will be to integrate into society as responsible young adults without facing legal troubles in their teenage years. The Marsh Blom Lawyers are always heartbroken when they see children who exercised bad judgment and fell in with the wrong crowd at a young age.
How Do You Help Your Child Understand Laws?
When it comes to law, it is important to ask your child what they think about laws and rules. If you were to create a law that your child had to brush their teeth every morning and every night before bedtime, how would that be perceived by them? Would this be an invasion of their free will to do as they please or accepted as part of keeping up oral health and protecting them from injury?
Depending on the maturity level of your child, it may be difficult to get a straightforward answer. However, if you are able to help them understand the point, you can start building them life lessons and a mind that is respectful of safety principles over personal desire.
Ultimately, your child should come to understand that obeying the laws are what they ultimately desire themselves in any regard. This is because the law is wisdom that is designed to protect the public and not something that is meant to injure them.
However, children should learn about consequences. If they do something wrong and break your rules, they should know that any serious dissent to your authority results in negative consequences. These consequences may be no video games for the day or a curfew for bed at 8 pm if they refuse to get up for school because they are tired.
Children who are punished too harshly to the point of an emotional meltdown may come to resent authority figures. Although your child can’t always have their way, tormenting them on an emotional level should never be the punishment for violating arbitrary rules unless they are failing to take a serious matter very seriously.
How Do You Help Your Child Understand Contracts?
A contract is essentially an agreement of any type. A contract can be implied, expressly stated in writing, or a basic oral agreement. You can teach your children about contracts by bringing up the term anytime that you enter into an agreement with them. If you honor the terms and penalize them when they fail to keep up their end of the bargain, they will be able to understand contracts better.
You should keep your contracts as basic as possible. Have them sign a typed-up agreement that you will pay them a small sum for following your instructions every day. If they clean up their room, wash the dishes, take out the rubbish, and fulfill other obligations, you can fulfill your end of the bargain by putting the money into a savings account and helping them put the money towards a new bike, video game, doll, or outfit.