Keeping Children Safe, In General

As parents, relatives, or babysitters, our job is to keep our charges safe from harm.

We want them to take the necessary steps to stay safe in an emergency (violent situation), but they also need to learn to be safe, in general.

As you raise your kids, you take steps to help them foster independence, starting with looking both ways when crossing the street and not trusting complete strangers.

As the years pass, you pile more and more advice on your children, maybe realizing that you can’t be with them wherever they go. They will eventually leave the nest, and it’s your sworn duty to prepare them for that day.

Agreed?

The best way to prepare a child for an emergency situation is to work through best responses BEFORE there is an emergency. Long before.

Make a game of it.

I used to tell Quinn, “Kiddo, if this were an emergency and I told you to run to that fire hydrant, how fast could you get there? Ready? And … run to the hydrant, now!”

My wife and I got her accustomed to following our directions and to move fast in an emergency.

Note: Still, with all the preparation, she hesitated and sometimes was a deer in headlights in an emergency. It took effort for us to work her past that brief panic.

In addition to following directions, take steps to teach your child to recognize danger.

We casually quizzed her in supermarkets, “Q, which of the people in the front is the person to avoid?”

“Where could you hide if you needed to?”

In this way, she learned to recognize people tweaking on drugs, people looking for trouble, and alternate exits in supermarkets.

We never overwhelmed her; she got the lessons in small, one-question doses. And as mentioned, whenever possible, we made a game of it.

Often my excuse was that since I was a martial arts author, I needed to check out some of these possibilities from a kid’s perspective.

She was more than happy to help … and it helped to train her a bit.

Action Steps

So, is this article giving you any ideas?

Remember:

  1.  Make a game of it, if you can.
  2.  Practice in small doses.
  3.  Repetition is the key. Make their responses automatic.
  4.  Have a good, alternative excuse for role playing.
  5.  Practice escapes before there is trouble.
  6.  Teach them non-emergency safety — awareness goes a long way. So does not being naive to the evildoers of the world.
  7. In general, think of all the skills that give you an edge as an adult. Make your kids into better versions of yourselves.

It will help them to lead safer and more confident lives.

 

Keith Pascal is the author of Tiptoeing to Tranquility, and easy-to-read parable about a mother and daughter who learn to be safe together by becoming more aware of their surroundings. Simply by reading this story, you and your children could start to lead even safer lives. (Read more about Tiptoeing to Tranquility: The Parable for Finding Comfort and Safety in Dangerous Times)

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