My daughter is seven.
I taught my daughter that sometimes judgment is more valuable than rules, and that in such cases the rules should be broken. I read somewhere on Quora that a guy would never cross the street against the signal with his kids — until they hit eighteen. I think that’s horrible modelling. It says, “Actually, I was just faking that this thing is bad to do. Now that you’re an adult, I’ll stop faking.”
All adults break rules, and that is intelligent and right sometimes. The reason the signal at the crosswalk exists, as I taught my daughter, is to keep us safe. If there aren’t any damn cars in the entire vicinity, then the signal no longer serves a purpose. You use your judgment, and you cross the street instead of wasting moments of your life obeying a thing that’s for you anyway.
So, yeah. I teach her to judge and assess. I’m not going to pretend following rules is always necessary and then go, “Surprise, I was kidding!” when she turns eighteen.
I informed her that the great majority of adults lie to children on a regular basis. I explained that some of the lies are based on the notion that kids need protection from various issues, others are motivated by thinking it’s okay to lie as long as the lie is super fun (ie Santa), and yet others still are grounded in adults’ fear and confusion in discussing difficult topics with kids.