Why You Should Teach Kids to Say No to Authority Figures

This post may contain affiliate links.

Believe it or not, we need to teach our kids not to be compliant without questioning. We must teach our kids to be respectful but to also be THINKERS who can stand up to authority figures and / or friends who are. This is essential for our children’s safety!

Did you know that after guide dogs are trained, they are also taught to disobey if the command is harmful?

This is called Intelligence Disobedience

And it’s what we need to teach our children.

(Not mindless obedience.)

I know you’re agreeing with me but you’re probably wondering HOW to really do this. How do we teach this to our kids without encouraging sassy or rude behavior?

This video from Ira Chaleff, founder of the International Leadership Association’s Followership Learning Community and adjunct faculty at Georgetown University, helps explain the concept and how to empower your child to say no when appropriate:

To review, Chaleff says to do the following:

Blink, Think, Choice, Voice

  1. Blink. Breathe deeply. Take a moment.
  2. Think. Ask what’s happening here?
  3. Choice. Obey or refuse to obey.
  4. Voice. Say what you know is the right thing to do — even if it’s a “NO.”

Chaleff shares more about this in his award-winning book, Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told To Do Is Wrong (Berrett Kohler 2015). Find Chaleff on FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoodreads and www.IraChaleff.com

Why Is This Important?

Consider the following scenarios:

A cute boy your daughter like tries to force your daughter to do something she doesn’t want to do.

A trusted adult tries to touch your child in an inappropriate way.

A coach tells your child to hurt another player in order to win.

We want our kids to be able to say NO to people that they like, respect, or admire. People that aren’t strangers offering candy but real people who our children might want to please.

How Else Might We Encourage Intelligent Disobedience?

intelligence disobedience -- why & how to teach kids to thoughtfully say no to authority figures and friends

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Such an intriguing topic to discuss about. Specially in the times we live in, where people will not even think twice to misuse power,

    I am looking forward to read the book.
    Thanks for the post.