When your child was a baby or a toddler, he always had you there for him. If you weren’t there, he was always left in the care of someone you trusted completely. However, your child is growing up now, and with time, he may not want you to hold his hand as much. As a parent, this will obviously be a bit worrisome for you as you will find yourself getting concerned about your child’s safety.
This particularly holds true for times when your child starts using the public transit herself or navigates the sidewalks – trust me, things are definitely going to get nerve-wracking for you. The simple fact is that all parents dread the day when they may receive a phone call informing them of something bad that has happened to their precious angel.
However, to keep positive, you need to remind yourself that accidents don’t happen all the time. Tragedies are pretty rare and even things like accidents and abductions can be easily avoided by following a few basic safety rules.
So to help you keep your child safe, make sure that you teach him about safety rules mentioned below:
7 He Is Your #Priority – Make Sure He Knows This
For parents who are truly interested in keeping their child safe against any abuse that might get initiated by predators and bullies and wish to keep him protected, it’s vital for you to maintain close relationships with him. To get closer to your child, make sure that you eat dinner together as a family as many times during the week as you can so he has a sense of belonging.
Apart from that, you should also spend a bit of ‘one-on-one’ time with your child so that he starts feeling close to you, thereby making it easier for him to share his problems and concerns with you. Also, it’s highly recommended for you to plan out lots of ‘special’ activities with each child of yours as often as you can – do this at least once a week.
During this special time of yours, it’s best for you to let things remain ‘one-on-one’ between you and your child and let him decide how he wishes to use this time. While you’re at it, refrain from bringing up homework or reading during this time. Just in case your child seems uninterested in spending time with you, do things to reconnect with him.
As a parent, you should take out time to talk to each of your child on a personal, one-on-one, intimate level at least once a week. The reason why you should do this is because it will allow you to learn about your child’s ‘hidden’ world and interests. All those thoughts that they have in their mind will be opened up to you.
6 Teach Him How to Cross the Street
Crossing the street is something that can be considered ‘automatic’ for us to the point that we overlook the fact that our kids need to be taught about the rules and safety issues associated with it. The day your child becomes old enough to hold your hand and walk down the street, instruct him on every step when you have to cross the road.
Hold his hand and say something like, “Hey we have to cross the road now. First, look at the signal and if it shows the person walking, we’ll cross. But before crossing, take a good look on the left and then the right and then the left again, and if there are no cars, we’ll cross.” As time goes by, this is going to become somewhat of a ritual for your child and he will start following it on his own as well.
While you are at it, please remember that children don’t have the same ability to judge things like speed, distances and noise direction as adults. This is why you should also focus on teaching your child about basic street safety as soon as he starts walking about the neighborhood on his own.
Get your child to follow a few rules
It’s extremely important for you to practice the basic rules of being a pedestrian in order to get your child to follow them too. You need to keep doing this to the point that following these rules becomes part of your child’s personality. By the time he starts crossing the road by himself, he will know all the rules and will be able to cross the road safely.
5 Teach Him How to Swim
I honestly can’t think of a single logical reason why parents wouldn’t want their children to learn how to swim. When teaching your child how to swim, it’s also recommended for you to tell him to refrain from diving into waters that he hasn’t tested or established to be safe enough in terms of depth.
Apart from the fact that knowing how to swim is one of the basics of safety, getting your kids to swim on a regular basis will enable them to reap plenty of health benefits as well. The best part is that when done during the summers, swimming can help your family stay cool and relaxed while enjoying a truly healthy physical and social activity.
Also, during the colder months, it’s recommended for you to take your kids to an indoor pool so they can have an active lifestyle all year long. While you’re at it, bear in mind the fact that drowning is the second leading cause of death for people aged between 5 and 24, which goes on to show how important it is for you to teach your children how to swim.
There are quite a few other benefits as well
By teaching your child how to swim at a young age, it will be possible for him to become a stronger swimmer overtime, while gaining valuable experience in the water that will drive away all his fears. The best part about this experience is that it’ll reduce the risk of emergencies in case he falls accidentally in an unguarded pool.
4 For Your Girl, She Should Know Her Body is ONLY Hers
Research reports suggest that approximately one out of three girls experience some level of unwanted and un-permitted sexual advances and touching by the time they turn sixteen. This is a rather scary statistic, and the worst part is that it isn’t only girls who get molested this way. The situation is actually worse for boys considering that one out of six boys are believed to be sexually molested by the same age.
The best means of getting your child to learn about unwanted sexual advances and touching is that of making him/her read books focused on these issues. I would personally recommend ‘My Body Belongs to Me’ by Jill Starishevsky for this particular purpose.
With the passage of time, you need to teach your child that he should not let anyone in the world touch him in a manner that makes him uncomfortable – irrespective of whether it’s an adult or a child. You need to bear in mind the fact that a majority of cases of child molestation, the perpetrator is someone that the child knows and trusts. Apart from telling your child to stay away from strangers, you also need to teach him about inappropriate behavior even if it’s from someone they are familiar with.
“I’ll always be there for you”
While teaching your child about good and bad touches, you need to keep reminding him/her that you will always be there to listen to him and answer any questions he may have. What’s more is that you shouldn’t force your child to hug or kiss someone if he isn’t comfortable with it.
3 Protect Him Against Bullies
The best protection that you can offer your child against bullies is that of making sure that they hold close and strong relationships with their family members and peers and have high self-esteem. The simple fact of the matter is that bullies typically prey on kids who they believe are most vulnerable. This obviously includes children who wish to gain peer acceptance and will do just about anything to get accepted in a group.
A tactic that you should apply to make sure that your little angel doesn’t give in to bullies is that of playing role-playing games with him. Through these games, he will learn how to stand up against bullies and their abuse. With that, you must also tell your child that it’s natural for him to be a tad bit scared of bullies, but they must not feel ashamed in walking away from a bully, telling an adult about what she is facing and asking for help.
Get him to talk to you and make sure that you stay calm
This needs to be more of a family rule. Whenever your child confesses or shares something about being bullied, it’s necessary for you and the rest of the family to listen to him in a steady and calm manner. Listen to his concerns in a loving manner and offer support to him so he knows you’re there for him no matter what.
2 Car Safety Rules Require Attention Too
If you plan on traveling with a child in the back of your car, you need to train yourself to check the car each time you get out to make sure your child doesn’t get left behind. Trust me, this step will go a long way in forgetting a sleeping child in the back of your car. Though it may sound horrible, the fact is that at times you may be sleep-deprived at times and well, haven’t we all heard of stories where parents left their babies in the car and the babies died?
To ensure your child’s safety, it’s necessary for you to teach him to get out of the car in case he is being driven around by someone drunk. To help your child learn, use role-playing games so as to help him learn how to get out of such a car and reach a safe spot where he can be picked up by an adult. Teach him to say things like, “I’m about to throw up,” “I’m getting car sick – stop the car NOW!”
Child safety seats are a must
The best protection that you can give your child when traveling by car is that of using a child safety seat or car seat. With the help of a child safety seat, it’ll be easily possible for you to reduce the risk of a potentially fatal injury for both babies and toddlers. Remember, the best car seats aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones. It‘s best for you to get one that is the perfect pick for your child’s size, weight, age and your vehicle.
1 Make Sure He Introduces You to His Friends and Their Families
This is a family rule that your child must follow. Each time your child visits a friend’s house on a play date, you need to make sure that he introduces you to their families. With that, you must also keep an eye on your child to acquire cues as to what all happens in their friends’ places on these play dates.
Try to find out things like whether they are allowed to use the computer there without adult supervision and do their parents let them go to the store on their own? With that, you should also take into consideration things like whether your child has the ability to recognize if his friend’s father got drunk, or what he needs to do in case someone in that household touches him inappropriately.
Your child must also know that any time a gun comes out, it’s necessary for him to leave his friend’s house by making an excuse.
Your child will spend time with strangers
That’s a fact. When your child visits his friends, their families are total strangers to you and you know nothing about them and their lifestyle choices. For this reason, it’s highly recommended for you to make sure that their family values align with yours and that they will not expose your child to things that may be harmful for him.
To keep things clear, just take the time to communicate your morals, values and expectations to their parents together with your stand on things like use of media, alcohol and the places where you deem it alright for your child to play.