As a parent, one of the most important things you can do is teach your child safety measures. Teaching your child safety measures at a young age will help them feel more confident and give you peace of mind as they become more independent. Here are nine effective tips for teaching your child safety.
1. Don’t let your own anxiety show
When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your children will pick up on that. When talking to your kids about safety, stay calm and collected. It will help them absorb the information without getting scared.
2. Don’t be overly negative
When talking about safety, it can be easy to focus on the potentially bad things that might happen, but this can cause unnecessary fear and anxiety for your kid. While it’s important to bring up potential dangers, don’t focus on them – instead, focus on the positive things that kids can do to avoid threats, like checking in with adults in charge. This will help them feel more empowered.
3. Discuss internet safety
Kids today learn to use the internet at a very young age. It’s very important that they learn not to give out personal information online, so don’t forget to bring this up during any safety discussion.
4. Be consistent about enforcing rules
One of the best ways to teach very young children to be safe is to enforce rules. For example, you probably have rules in the kitchen to prevent your children from burning themselves. Make sure to tell them ‘no’ every single time they break the rules, not just if they burn themselves.
5. Practice observing details
The better your kids can observe the world around them, the better they’ll be able to identify and avoid potential dangers. As kids get old enough to communicate, work with them to practice good observation skills.
6. Develop a family password
There might be times when you’re not able to pick your child up from school. A good way to let kids know that a friend or other family member is safe to pick them up is with a family password. Tell your kids to only get in the car with someone who knows the password, which should be a simple phrase that’s easy to remember.
7. Help your child learn their way around town
It’s important that your child is aware of their surroundings in case of an emergency. Once they’re old enough to go to school, start teaching them the route to and from school, as well as any after-school activities. If there are any places they shouldn’t go, make sure they understand the potential dangers.
8. Teach your child key safety phrases
In the unlikely event that your child is approached by someone dangerous, they won’t know how to respond innately. Practice saying ‘no’, and give your child a few example sentences that they can use if necessary.
9. Check-in regularly about safety
Children can’t learn safe behaviors just from one conversation – it’s something you should talk about regularly. Check-in with your children frequently about the things they experience when they’re not with you. Help them learn from mistakes and teach them strategies to feel more empowered.