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Tweens: Respect the Law

by Lori Sciame | March 12th, 2013 | Behavior, Tweens

policeFor some reason, children start to have negative perceptions of law enforcement as they grow into tweens and teens. This is unfortunate, as police officers truly care about youth in America.  Unlike firefighters, who remain a hero to people of all ages, police officers become known to tweens and teens as donut chasers or worse, the po po.  As the wife of a 33-year police veteran, I’d like to make a case for encouraging young people to value officers as much as they do firefighters.

Help is on the Way

Tweens and teens can rest assured that a police officer is only a phone call away.  No matter what time of day or what day of the week (even holidays), police officers will rush to assist those in need.  Teach a tween how to access the non-emergency police number in addition to knowing when it is appropriate to call 911.  In essence, law enforcement can be viewed as a safety net in a tween and teen’s mind.

They are Watching

Tweens and teens have fun discussing how cops try to trap speeders, or that officers want to break up teen parties.  It is true that officers must stop drivers who do not follow the rules, and they must monitor underage drinking; however they don’t live to ruin a child’s fun.  It’s a misconception to think that police officers don’t want young people to enjoy life. What they want is for a child to have fun in a safe way.  Yes, police officers do “watch over” citizens, but they do so to protect and to serve.

Community Outreach

Just like firefighters, police officers assist the community in a number of ways.  For instance, in my town officers take young people holiday shopping each year.  They volunteer their time and money to give presents to those who might otherwise not receive any.  My husband, a police captain, also serves on three community boards.  Other officers hold leadership positions throughout the community as well.  These examples just touch the surface of what police officers, both men and women, do for a city or town.  It is a fact; most police officers take on the job because they truly want to help others.


Law enforcement professionals are also trustworthy.  A tween should realize the police departments hire trustworthy individuals.  There will be some that argue that all police are crooked, but the reality is — only a tiny fraction of police officers have acted in an inappropriate manner.  This means that if a tween and teen is ever in danger, police personnel can be trusted to help.

Why is Respect Important?

Children need to learn to respect authority.  From parents, to teachers, and to police officers, if a tween understands that they need to show respect, they will be much better off. I am not saying that authority should never be challenged, but that respect should be given when it is due.  Overall, a child who shows respect will ultimately have fewer discipline problems.

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