Many jurisdictions have it so when people apply for a law enforcement job, they apply to become a "peace officer" and not a "police officer". It's a great lexicon switch, as it helps emphasize the important role police have in a society to keep people safe by promoting a peaceful environment.
Today, there is a cultural undercurrent analyzing modern policing efforts, and that analysis is important! But when talking to children about police, especially young children, more important is emphasizing the role these officials play in protecting and keeping the peace in the community. When children have a mistrust of police and other authority figures, they are less likely to report harm or dangerous situations.
But how do you teach kids to look up to police when there is much discussion among adults around the broader, and sometimes negative, aspects of the role? The following is a look at some techniques like promoting dress-up with a police uniform for kids:
Teaching Kids To Look Up To Police
- Promote role play. Roleplay is the very best way to incite an interest in police and their important roles in the community. This is because when children role-play, they take on the persona of a character, and in order to play that role, they often engage in questions and experimentation. These are fantastic ways to interact with your child and teach them about the positive aspects of this career and how to interact with police now and as they get older.
- Reading positive police books. Reading to children is another great way to help them engage with ideas and entice questions. Many children's books that feature positive stories about cops and their interactions with children and adults also teach valuable lessons. For example, Jean and Gareth Adamson's book Topsy and Tim Meet the Police talks about safe places to play and how to recognize a dangerous situation. Other books like Police: Hurrying! Helping! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell talk about the roles of a police in fun rhymes and images. Nicely, the current top review for this book is from a parent whose son also likes to dress up in a police uniform for kids and roleplay. They state this book helped inform their children's police-style games.
- Watching cop positive shows. There are several great cop positive shows that can help incite your child's imagination. PAW Patrol is perhaps the most popular, with nearly 200 episodes. Most of these episdes are now available on Hulu, YouTube, and FuboTV.
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When it comes to roleplaying for children, a quality, authentic-looking uniform is key. At Teetot, we strive to create uniforms that spark the imagination by really transporting children into the role they're playing. With our police uniform for kids, that means an authentic-looking costume, radio, handcuffs, and more. Visit our online store to learn more!