A father wants to invite his son to attend a musical performance. When they’re at the entrance, an officer stopped and said, “Sorry Sir, only children aged 13 years and older can enter.” The father replied, “My son is 13 years old, it’s just his body is small.” The father then tried to convince him in various ways that his son was already over 13 years old, but the officer didn’t believe him. The father pulled his son’s hand away angrily and said to his son, “Don’t worry, we will find another way. There must be another entrance. It can’t be only for 13 years old children.” Turns out, his son is only 8 years old.
A child said to his mother, “Mom, how can I go on a trip, I’m still in school.” His mother replied, “Calm down, I will talk to your teacher later. Just tell her that you have urgent family matters. Your teacher won’t know about it.”
We may have encountered these incidents in everyday life. Parents often unwittingly teach their children to disobey authority by manipulating, lying, or even being outright against authority, such as teaching how to lie to teachers, trick the police, etc. However, parents will be angry when they find their children manipulating, lying, or showing a rebellious attitude against their parents. Whereas parents tend to forget that they also represent authority figures for their children so that their children will do the same things as taught so far.
Apart from being an authoritative figure in a child’s life, parents are also a leading figure for their children. Children learn leadership skills from their parents. If children are trained not to submit to authority, they will grow up to be leaders who aren’t subject to authority. Submission to authority is not only about submission to a person, but also submission to the rules, procedures, and applicable laws. So, it isn’t surprising that children can become corrupt leaders, carrying out various manipulations, frauds, and illegal actions in the future if they aren’t trained from an early age to submit to authority.
Paul advised Timothy, “Watch yourselves and watch your teachings.” (1 Timothy 4:16). Parents need to take care of themselves so that they can become examples of leaders with integrity in front of their children so that in time their children can become leaders with integrity.
Monica M.Psi., Psikolog