You prepare your child to avoid getting into cars with strangers or walking off with a stranger at the mall… How do you prepare her for the rare but serious situation when an authority figure tells her to do something she shouldn’t? CLICK TO TWEET
Guide dogs for the blind inspired Ira Chaleff to write his 2015 book: Intelligent Disobedience: Doing right when what you’re told to do is wrong. These dogs learn to obey every order – yet they must also disobey orders when they see it’s not safe. If dogs can learn when they need to be disobedient, humans can learn that too! And especially children. Our kids learn stranger-danger, for instance, but they’re more likely to be in danger from people they know. They’re schooled to do what authority figures tell them. How do we teach them what the dogs learn to do?
There’s now a children’s guide: Intelligent Disobedience for Children. And it can be summarised in this neat, memorable way:
As the guide’s author, Ira Chaleff, says: “When you place your child in the care of other adults—day-care providers, teachers, coaches, camp counselors—you trust that he will be safe, but you know you can’t be totally sure. When a supposedly trusted authority figure tells a child to do something wrong, the experience is confusing and potentially dangerous. You prepare your child to not get into cars with strangers or walk off with a stranger at the mall. How do you prepare him for the rare but serious situation when an authority figure tells him to do something he shouldn’t?
Many of us don’t. Let’s see how we might…”