Following instructions but not the intention

I recently saw a young boy and his teenage brother doing some challenging skateboarding tricks. Both kids had helmets with them; however, those helmets were in their hands, not on their heads! I imagined that their parents had told them to take their helmets and that’s exactly what they did.

While the boys had followed their parents’ instructions, they ignored the intention of those instructions. Clearly the helmets do not do any good if they’re not being worn. Perhaps the parents could have been more specific by saying something like “You’re welcome to go skateboarding as long as you wear your helmet.” Then if they observe the boys skateboarding without wearing their helmets, they could impose a consequence like taking away their privilege to skateboard for awhile.

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