If you’re reading this post, you’re one of the millions of Americans who are concerned that police are under attack from a growing movement built on disrespect and distrust. This growing movement is creating higher tensions between police and members of the community, making us all less safe. So how do we turn the tide against the wave of anti-police bigotry in the United States? The first place to start is at home, making sure your children grow up with the appropriate level of respect and appreciation for the brave men and women who serve and protect us every day. Here are a few tips to help you make sure that the young people in your life grow up with a healthy respect and trust toward police officers.
Just say hello
For some kids, a police officer in uniform complete with a ballistic vest that makes them look imposing, may be intimidating at first. That’s why if you are walking your child to school, around the mall or at a sporting event, you should take a few seconds to say hello. A simple, friendly greeting could go a long way to instill an important lesson in the young person in your life; that police officers are our friends, our neighbors and, when need be, our protectors.
Do something nice for them
It’s important that all members of the community have the opportunity to give back to the officers who protect them. A great way to help your child learn respect for law enforcement is to do something nice for them. Trust us, there’s not an officer in America who wouldn’t be thrilled to have a couple dozen donuts dropped off at the station by your local little league team or student group. And seeing officers with big smiles on their faces drinking free coffee and eating free donuts could go a long way to show your child that police officers are just like the rest of us.
Stand up when the parade rolls by
This one is very simple, but very important. The next time you are at a parade and notice your local police officers in full dress uniform carrying the American flag, make sure you tell the young person with you why it is so important to stand as the flag parades by, and let them know that the officer carrying that flag is a special person charged with keeping their community safe.
We know, these tips seem pretty obvious, but iif we take them to heart we can help turn back the wave of anti-police sentiment in our communities. The more we can instill respect and reverence for police officers in our young people, the safer we will all be.