As parents, you have a huge responsibility. You’re the ones setting your children up for the rest of their lives! It can be a daunting prospect. But there are plenty of ways to make sure you’re doing all you can. One of the best ways to set your kids up for success is to talk to them about their safety, starting when they’re very young.
You’re their first role models, after all. Letting your kids see how much you care about safety will make them more likely to take your advice to heart. Instead of just letting your kids passively absorb the importance of safety, here are a few reasons you should actively talk about it.
It Lets You Start Teaching Early
Young kids aren’t good at just absorbing important life lessons; they need people to step up and tell them what to do. That’s where you come in. In the first few years of life, your child’s brain will physically change in shape and size due to different life experiences. Your teachings can have a great impact on your child’s development.
It’s very important for you to address safety in your children’s lives at a very young age. That way, they will carry that knowledge with them as they grow up. It doesn’t have to be complicated at the beginning. Even just simple warnings about hot stoves and crossing the road safely are great starting points.
You’ll Establish Yourself as a Safe Place
When you talk to your children about being safe, they’ll recognize you as an authority on the topic. Because of your life experiences, you know a lot about staying safe. When your kids run into dangerous situations, it’s likely that you’ve already been through a similar experience.
If your kids are trying to work their way out of something dangerous–and they know you’re invested in their safety–they’re likely to come to you for help. Even better, it’s even more likely they’ll turn to you if you’ve made it clear that you won’t judge them or think poorly of them for being in danger.
Show Your Own Willingness to Learn
Of course, if your child is involved with something that could be genuinely harmful, you’ll be able to decide to contact the authorities right away. However, if your children just want to know how to be safe when they go out with their friends, you can give them some pointers. One of the best ways you can do that is by actually acknowledging when you just don’t know enough on your own.
You’re not going to be an expert on every dangerous situation that your children could possibly be in. In that case, you can sit down with your child and do some research. Not only is it a bonding opportunity, but doing research can make you more interested in the topic, which can lead to remembering it more easily. Then, when a child is faced with a dangerous situation, he or she can quickly remember important pointers.
You Can Discuss Many Types of Safety
Especially in the modern era, there are plenty of potentially dangerous decisions that one can make. Cybersecurity, for example, is an incredibly important part of life. Fortunately, your children have the benefit of your experience. Instead of just unleashing your children on the internet, you can point them in the right direction.
One of the easiest ways to help your kids to stay safe, both online and in person, is to teach them how to avoid predators. Teach them not to talk to strangers, and definitely not to go off by themselves to meet with someone they may meet online. Nor should they give anyone they don’t know very well any personal information. (For your own edification, you can perform a criminal records check on neighbors or other adults with whom your child will be in contact, to see if you should have anything to be worried about.)
And these days, it just makes sense to openly discuss health safety. The coronavirus pandemic and its consequences are scary, especially for children who may not understand what’s happening. Start with washing hands, discuss the reasoning behind social distancing and protective gear, and make yourself a resource for whenever your kids have questions. For more information about how to talk to children about the coronavirus, check out this article from the CDC.
One of the most useful things you can do for your children is teaching them how to be safe. Introducing your kids to safety tools is a great way to set them up for success. Whether it’s internet safety, knowledge about how to avoid shady areas, or tips about staying healthy, it’s important to start talking about safety at home.
For more information about how to keep your children–and yourself–safe, check out all the safety-related posts on the PeopleFinders blog.
Photo credit: Monkey Business – stock.adobe.com