First rule of keeping your children safe: don’t base your rules on scary news reports! That will just generate unreasonableness on your part and resentment in your children. Here are ten better ways to emphasize safety in your family.
- Follow the Advice of Objective Experts
It’s easy to find passionate but misinformed warnings—and even if you don’t really believe them, they’ll tempt you into worry and perhaps into overlooking legitimate concerns. Log off the web-surfing, and get your safety advice from medical experts and local police.
- Tune In to Your Children’s Lives
Don’t stop at knowing where your children are and how to reach them: keep up with their individual concerns and interests, and make it clear they can always come to you if something troubles them. They themselves may be your best information source for keeping them safe.
- Practice Benefit of the Doubt
Some parents try to head off possible trouble by checking drawers, diaries, and playmates daily for hints of wrongdoing. All this usually accomplishes is to alienate the kids, encouraging misbehavior and secrecy. A trusting atmosphere, with regular and open communication, is much more effective.
- Watch Household Hazards
You know the basic home-safety rules: cover electric outlets, keep toxic substances out of reach, remove potential tripping and climbing hazards. When life gets hectic, however, “I’ll fix that later” temptations become the worse danger. Remember, accidents happen at no one’s convenience.
- Stay Cautious on the Road
As at home, so when away: never be so hurried in your errands as to neglect securing the car seat properly, or so preoccupied that you automatically reply “Sure” before it registers that your child is asking to cross a city street alone. And even if you’re running late, drive carefully with your “baby” on board!
- Go Beyond “Don’t Talk to Strangers”
As too many tragic stories prove, most kids don’t automatically file nice-looking people in the “strangers” category—or understand that even parents’ “friends” aren’t always trustworthy. Instruct children to get your permission before accepting any invitation, and to inform you immediately of anything suspicious.
- Stay Overall Healthy
Physically fit and energetic people are better prepared to deal with trouble at any age. Stress the importance of staying physically active, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and seeing the doctor regularly. And remember to set the example yourself!
- Learn—and Stay Prepared for—First Aid
Even elementary-school kids can learn basic CPR and other emergency measures: the more “first responders” in your household, the safer you’ll all be. And to make sure aid can be rendered when needed, always have an easily locatable first aid kit in the house and one in each car.
- Plan for Major Emergencies
Hold regular home fire drills. Also know what natural disasters might threaten your area, and keep appropriate supplies well stocked before everyone else rushes the stores
- Teach Children to Take Care of Themselves
Like it or not, you won’t always be close by to help your children; so besides teaching the “hows” of safety, encourage them in self-confidence and initiative so they’ll become emotionally capable of handling tough situations. In the end, everyone is his or her own best bodyguard.
YOUR CHILDREN ARE SAFE IN OUR CARE
In an age when many parents no longer trust public schools to protect their children from violence and bullying, a private elementary school may be what your family needs. Shady Oak not only guarantees your children’s everyday safety, we actively build their strength and self-confidence for a safer future. Our active, individualized, participation-based program ensures the development of every student’s best talents; our focus on collaboration teaches children to be effective members of society. We emphasize the “6 Pillars” of Connection, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving. Contact us to learn more!
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!