The following list will give you some helpful insight on how to keep your children safe during their time off from school.
Be aware of every area of your child's life. Where do you allow them to spend time? Meet everyone involved in your child's activities. Who is the coach, Summer School Teacher, Bible Study Teacher, Scout Leader, etc. Who are their friends and the parents of those friends. What is in their bedrooms? You have the right to know what is in your child's life in ALL AREAS! Do not let young children have unsupervised internet access. Privacy is not an issue where your child is concerned. You are a Parent not a friend. You set the rules. Be aware of all of the places that your child frequents. Parenting is a full time awareness job.
Help your child understand who a stranger is. Many children are abused by people that they or their family already know. Discuss proper behavior with your child. Make sure they know what type of behavior is acceptable. Strange behavior is something your child needs to identify. Defensive behavior is a skill that you can teach your child. Defensive behavior includes the following characteristics:
A. There is safety in numbers. Always stay in a group.
Do not travel alone.
B. Following the rules of your family. Establish healthy boundaries and discuss the dangers of breaking rules. Discuss actual cases of crimes against children. Bad things do happen to good people.
C. Teach your child how to SCREAM NO! If someone does try to grab them, they need to let people know that it is not okay.
Dialing 911 should be taught to all children. Teaching basic first aid is a good idea, direct pressure can stop a gushing wound. An emergency plan for your home should be discussed and posted. Play the "Fire Drill Game" with your child. Everyone knows that the proper course of action in the event of a fire is to vacate the building. What other "fires" are there that your child should vacate the area? A teen should leave a house if a party turns wild. If a guy takes a girl to a house without parents home, her brain should recognize a potential "fire" and leave immediately. Teach your children to make decisions ahead of potential emergencies. By discussing potential "fires," their brains will be conditioned to recognize the danger and make rational decisions.
4. PRAY WITH YOUR CHILD
A praying relationship with your child is foundational for their emotional and spiritual well being. It will draw both of you closer to God and demonstrate God's love through answered prayer.
5. FORM PARENTAL/NEIGHBOR TEAMS
Form relationships and bond with other parents (grandparents too!) Ask neighbors to inform you of any negative activities that
your child may be involved in. (My Mom's neighbor told her that I jumped off the garage roof into the pool.) Make sure that you also ask them to report any positive activities that your child does. Positivity can be a powerful force in your child's life.
These guidelines are part of a discussion on child safety that will be heard tomorrow morning on a radio interview with the YWAP Director. The show may be found at: http://www.urbanfamilytalk.net/
Please call us if you would like to discuss relationship mentoring with children. 716-830-8240