Safety was something that always worried me about when talking about my two kids. Nowadays there are dangers of several sources and although we can’t protected our kids 100% at least we can try to apply and teach some rules them can help them to be safer kids. Here are a good tips:
Help Your Children To Protect Themselves
Children are precious gem to all parents. Protecting them from harmful strangers is a great a responsibility. Yet, whenever you could not be there for them, you should help them to protect themselves.
Every parent has different ideas of the dangers that their children will meet everyday. No matter what those dangers are, it is always advisable to prepare your children early. Children naturally trust other people easily, especially friendly adults. Parents may find it difficult to explain to their children how to exercise caution with these people.
Here are some basic guidelines on how to help your young children to protect themselves.
Teach names of parents and siblings
This is a task all parents must teach their children since young. Children must not only know their own names, they must also know their parents’ and siblings’ names. If you are living in a multi-lingual community, make sure your children know your name in different languages. (Every language has different pronunciation of the same name.)
Know home address and telephone number
It is good to drill your children their house address and telephone number at an early age. If possible, write the information down in a small card and remind your children to keep it safely. Drill your children a few times a day.
Know the emergency and personal numbers
Teach them the emergency numbers in your area. Write the numbers down if needed and drill your children every now and then. Also include some personal numbers your children can call during emergencies. Tell you children that they are welcome to call at any time.
Have a few channels of communication
It is advisable to practice making calls with a make-believe telephone or a mobile telephone. Since your children can remember correctly the home and your personal numbers, let them call you once a while as a practice. Make sure your children’s mobile telephones are active and fully charged so that they can make calls during emergencies.
Teach your children to use a public telephone. Then, buy some public telephone cards with credits for them. This may be another emergency gesture, just in case your children have forgotten their mobile phones at home.
Some parents equip their very young children with simple ‘push to talk’ mobile phones. Although these gadgets cannot be used to make calls, parents may find it useful as young children can use it easily. Parents can rest assured their children are safe.
Set up some rules at home
Setting rules at home can help to discipline your children. At first, they may find the rules restricting. Explain to them why such a rule is made. Children choose reasoning first before accepting. Once you have explained to them, they will accept the rules easily.
Include also certain rules of answering the telephone. Tell them not to give out the address of their house, home telephone number or their own names.
Never accept gifts or lifts
You can start by telling stories of how smart children take care of themselves. Remind them all the time not to accept gifts or lifts from strangers or people they do not know well. Some children may not think twice accepting gifts or foods because they are just too young to do so. So, it is always good to remind them the danger doing so.
Be notified of their whereabouts
Remind your children to notify you their whereabouts. Even if they are playing in the garden, they ought to inform you first. This will itself become a habit to your children. Do not let your children out of your house compound without your permission. Always lock the front gate.
For older children, always remind them to inform you of their whereabouts if they have mobile phones. If you are not available; then, remind them to inform a close relative or neighbor before going out.
Always be punctual to fetch your children from school or tuition centres. Do let them wait too long. If you are late, give them a call first and remind them to wait for you only. Also remind them to wait for you at a bright spot or with a group of friends.
Remind their school teachers to call you if your children are absent without reasons. Have their teachers to watch out for their behaviors too.
Talk to your children about abduction
To most parents, this is not a topic to discuss with their children. However, children have a right to know as their safety is at stake here. Tell in a gentle way and have them come up with ideas what to do facing such danger. Most children who were abducted had no exposure of such occurrence.
For course, your children will have all sorts of heroic ideas to get out of the situation. Always warn them of the dangers they would face. Let them know that they are no child-heroes like the ones they saw in movies.
Talk to your children about sexual abuse
Another topic which most parents find difficult to talk to their children. Tell your children gently that nobody is allowed to touch them in any way that makes them uncomfortable. Remind them it is all right to run away or fight back if that occurs. Remind them to tell what happen to a trusted adult immediately.
Tell your children they have rights to refuse any request from strangers they do not know. Teach them to decline politely and run away swiftly.
Ask for help from policemen or security guards
If anything happen in a shop, tell your children to run and get help from the shopkeeper or sale persons in charge. Tell them to get help from a policeman on duty or security guards if they see one.
Teach them to scream, shout and run
Parents want their children to be quiet and nice all the time. Yet, when in danger, facing with strangers, they all want their children to scream and shout for help. So, let your children be noisy.
Noisy children are more active and react faster during emergencies. They can run far and do lots of counter attacks such as kicking and biting when needed. Allow your children to take part in sports and games, this will help to make them strong and able to fight back should there be troubles.
Lock all doors and windows
When it is late in the evening, remember to make sure you lock the doors and windows. This is a good example your children will follow. Always lock the front gate. If possible equip your house with a security camera and alarm to avoid unwanted intruders.
Playing with friends
Encourage your children to make friends in school. Teach them how to share and treat their friends well. This is a way to have friends to help your children if they have trouble. When they need to go anywhere, remind your children to walk in a group.
Abductors are wary when they see a group of children together. They may find it quite difficult to grab a child without getting the attention of other children and people around them.
Listen to your children
Listen to your children when they are telling you their feelings about people and places. Do not criticize them for expressing the fear. Teach them to trust their instinct. Let your children know that you are always around for them.
Some children will tend to exaggerate to get attention. This will be the time you ask more questions. Reprimand your children gently when the truth is found out. However, always show your support by listening to them.
Be attentive at public places
Teach your children to be attentive at public places. Get the older children to look after the younger ones when you are busy shopping. Warn your children not to walk alone. Allow your older children to carry their mobile phones with them. It makes things easier should you suddenly lose sight of them.
Some parents make their older children carry small sharp objects to protect themselves. This is a good move too. However remind them not to scratch any public objects or you will be in trouble.
Take note of children’s distinctive features
Every child has his or her own distinctive features. They may come as moles or shape of their faces or even birthmarks on their bodies. Take special note of that. If possible, take their individual pictures yourself. If something happens, these photographs can be a great help.
You can buy a finger-printing tool to print your children’s finger prints. You can make an activity out it. Keep your children’s finger prints easily accessible at home.
Be alert to change of behavior
Children with emotional problems are usually withdrawn and secretive. Be attentive for these sudden changes shown in your children. Talk to them. They need your emotional support more than anything else. Find out the root of the problems. Ask questions, but do not force the child to say anything he or she does not want.
Be alert why your child or children show unexplained hostility towards a friend, relative and baby sitter. Children are generally friendly, unless they are disturbed emotionally.
Do not encourage your children to spend time online without your permission. In fact, lock your PC with a secret password or a few passwords.
Do not allow your children to chat with their friends through chat-rooms with your supervision. Never allow your children to parade in front of the webcams for your friends or families. The possibility of your PC being spied is great.
So whatever you do, you know you are protecting your children. You are not being protective, just be careful. Your children are more important than other treasures you have.
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