Parenting is not always easy, and there’s no right way to do it. Everyone has their own parenting style, and this isn’t something everyone should agree on. However, if you have kids and want to keep them safe, there are certain conversations and activities you should have and do to keep your child safe. Here are five things you should always discuss with your child.
- Stranger Danger
At a young age, it’s important to talk with your child about stranger danger. Children are too accepting of other people, and while you don’t want them to fear everyone they come in contact with, you also don’t want them to walk away with someone they don’t know. Be sure to explain to your child why they should never go off with someone they don’t know, even if that person says they know the parents. Have a safe word with your child. This way, if someone tells your child they need to take them somewhere, your child can ask for the safe word. If the person doesn’t know it, your child will know to run away.
Nobody wants to experience a house fire, but it’s something that could potentially happen, so you want to be prepared for it. Be sure to talk with your child about simple ways to protect yourself against fires as well as the actions to take should there be a fire in your home. For instance, make sure your child knows how to stop, drop, and roll as well as how to check doors for fires. Teach them about the right places in the home to go if there’s a fire, and teach them how to use an emergency ladder, if necessary. It’s also a good idea to have a “meeting spot” with your child if you get separated. This should be an open area away from your home, such as a neighbor’s yard or a close stop sign.
Like fire, nobody wants to experience a home invasion, but it’s also likely. Be sure to talk with your child about what to do if your home is being invaded. If you have an alarm, teach your child what to do if they hear the alarm going off. Maybe there is a certain place you want them to hide, such as a safe room. Not only should you talk with your child about these instances, but you should also do drills to ensure they can actually do what you want in a time of need.
Bullying is a serious issue, and it’s something parents need to discuss with children. Today’s children are not just susceptible to bullying at school, but technology makes it easy for children to be bullied while at home too. Make sure you talk with your child about the dangers of bullying so they don’t become the bully. In addition, talk with your child about what to do if they are being bullied. Most children will be scared to tell an adult, but addressing the issue is much better than dealing with more serious consequences.
Talking with your child about abuse may not be the way you want to spend an evening, but it’s important for children to know the signs of abuse. At a young age, teach your child about the inappropriate places to touch or be touched by others. Make sure you let them know that if someone ever touches them inappropriately, you want to know about it, even if the abuser threatened them in any way. Be sure to discuss signs of emotional and physical abuse too instead of just sexual. Having your child be prepared is a great way to keep them safe.
Parenting is hard, and while you’ll experience challenges along the way, it’s also a good idea to talk openly with your child about certain topics to help keep them safe.