Wednesday, February 2

Respect For Public and School Property

Troubled teens usually reach for a spray can before they would reach out for help. They take their anger and frustration out on public property in a statement that dares and defies the community. This may be seen as an attempt to disrupt what they believe to be a harmonious society that treats them as unwanted menaces and appears to have what they lack.

Teaching how to show respect for public property is an important childrearing tip

Respect for public property is a sign of healthy community spirit. People take pride in belonging to the community and as such there is a natural desire to preserve its dignity and beauty. This sense of belonging gives the individual an identity. The very act of defacing public property points to a deep rooted lack of identity and belonging. It points to a terrible alienation which is disguised by acts of bravado and rebellion.

Often school property and public buildings bear the brunt of these acts in the form of graffiti and other forms of vandalism. This could be in response to a hatred of the system and school authorities or from a need to belong to the cool gang. It would not be too farfetched to say that extensive tattoos and body piercings are a similar display of alienation of the self stemming from a lack of identity.

Schools and public areas are zones where kids are outside the direct supervision of parents. The governing forces would be other kids or role models. There is some pressure on them to conform and be cool. This may induce them to do things they normally would not do.

What Parents Can Do 

Right from the time they're able to understand, let them know you do not approve of vandalism, graffiti on public property, disfiguring public statues and art work, and similar acts of teenage rebellion. Explain how these things cost money and how you contribute by paying taxes. Align you and your child firmly on the side of law abiders. Let them know firmly that you are not pleased with this sort of behaviour

Respect for school and public property

Prepare your little ones for this phase of their lives while they're still with you. Point out instances and situations in newspapers and news programmes that you would not want them to be in. Don’t condemn other kids who are in this situation, but be sympathetic when you point it out. Condemn the situation not the kids. Do your best to ensure your kids keep good company.

All Photographs Courtesy


  1. Peer pressure leads kids into all kinds of stupidity. It can be very hard to not give in.I know I've been there.

  2. Yes Janie, peer pressure is a powerful phenomenon, but parental understanding and support may help kids deal with it.


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