From jumping in puddles to climbing the monkey bars, trying new foods and making new friends. All of those experiences and more can be so rewarding for children when given the opportunity to experience them. While some children are more naturally reserved than others, all children love to explore something! Yes, the world is filled with dangers, both present and hidden, but if we force our children to live in fear, what kind of adults and global citizens are we raising?
Kids Live Safe is a service dedicated to providing neighborhood alerts and monitoring for parents regarding sexual offenders. Here Kids Live Safe reviews a few ways in which you can help children become more adventurous and fearless while also being safe.
Avoid Giving Directions
Constantly telling children to “go here” or “put that down” will never allow them to experience certain things on their own. They won’t be allowed to create their own path if they are constantly following the one that you are creating for them. Of course, you want to keep children safe, and those directions are fine. Otherwise, step back and let children explore their space and mind in their own way.
Let Children Explore
The world is massive. As adults, we are still figuring it out on our own. Why hinder our little ones from exploring it as well? Give children the opportunity to explore inward and lean on their own capabilities. This helps foster stronger willed and independent children.
Try Experiences Together
Nothing prevents you and your child from experiencing new things together. You can try new foods; explore a new park, and so much more as a family. Keeping your child relegated to specific areas out of fear or inconvenience is not healthy. Work together as a family to come up with new experiences that you would love to try.
The Internet can be tricky. For parents, we didn’t grow up with this technology and are still learning it daily. On the other hand, our children are growing up in a technological age that is unprecedented. With this in mind, having safety measures in place for teens on the web is a must. Kids Live Safe reviews 5 ways in which Teens and Tweens can responsibly use social media.
- Think before you post. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment. Something exciting could be happening and you want to tweet about it immediately or post it on Snapchat. This may not always be the wisest decision. Stop, think, and use your best judgment before posting.
- Respect others online. The Internet is filled with people from all walks of life. No one is better than the next person. Always be nice to others and only say kind words. Don’t engage in bullying or harassment.
- Monitor what other people post or say about you. While you may think before you post, others may not. This means you must be vigilant in what your friends or even people with bad intentions are posting about you. Be mindful of any negative posts or pictures. Kindly ask to have them removed.
- Speak up if someone is bullying or harassing you or someone you know. Use your voice for good. There are some negative people out there who enjoy hurting others. If you see or experience this behavior, notify an adult immediately.
- Ask for permission before joining new sites, chats, or meeting people offline. It can be exciting to join the newest social media craze or meet people that you met online in real life. However, some sites are not appropriate for everyone and not everyone you meet online has good intentions. Always consult an adult before making decisions regarding either.
With all the dangers present in the world, you want to keep your children safe. You want to kiss their boo-boos when they fall, make everyone at school be their friend, and even tell them the answers to their homework when they’re stuck. We get it. You want to make life as easy as possible for your child so they can enjoy their childhood. You, my friend, are a classic helicopter parent. While being a helicopter parent may seem harmless, it could have long-lasting effects on your child’s ability to develop and be self-sufficient.
Whether you’re hovering or constantly micromanaging, it’s time to break yourself out of the habit of being a helicopter parent. Kids Live Safe reviews 3 simple ways you can break that habit.
- Quit Overanalyzing
Wanting to protect your child is natural. However, constantly fretting over their success and actions is not good for anyone. Constantly focusing on every little nuance will only stress you and your child out, possibly creating a division in the relationship.
- Let Your Children Make Mistakes
The great joy in life is figuring it out for yourself. There isn’t one generic roadmap or how-to book that works for everyone. There are some things in life that need to be experienced on their own. Failure is one of them. While it may be heartbreaking to sit back and watch your child deal with the pain of failing, this will ultimately teach them to problem-solve and become a stronger person in the long run.
- Don’t Complete Tasks for Them
As the saying goes, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” The flaw with this statement is this: How will anyone know the proper way to do something if you don’t teach them? This goes for children. Whether they’re washing the dishes or working out a math problem, don’t take it over for them. Instead, help your child find a way that works to complete the problem in a satisfactory way.
As parents, the goal is to raise independent, socially responsible human beings. Micromanaging every one of their actions is not the way to do that. Many children run away from home due to strenuous conditions; ultimately finding themselves participating in dangerous behaviors or in the arms of predators. Take a step back and see how you can correct some of these helicopter parent behaviors before it’s too late.
As parents, we often forget that children are little independent people who won’t always need our help. As they grow up, they begin to explore more of the world on their own and in their own way. It is our job to make sure they are properly prepared with basic safety skills to make this process a little easier. Whether it’s your child’s first day of Kindergarten or their last day at soccer practice, making sure they are well equipped with these three safety tips will make releasing them into the world that much easier.
According to Kids Live Safe Reviews, here are three major safety skills that every child should know before they leave the house on their own.
How to Call 9-1-1 (or your local emergency number)
“What’s the number to 9-1-1”? This famous Little Rascals line is extremely funny in the movie; however, in real life situations, not so much. Make sure children know how to call 9-1-1 and how to talk to a dispatcher. Try role playing with your children to make sure they get this down so they are prepared to handle the stress in the event of a real emergency. Furthermore, make sure children understand that calling 9-1-1 is not a joke or prank and comes with serious consequences.
Memorization of Important Names and Phone Numbers
With the invention of cell phones, people’s phone numbers and contact information has become readily accessible with the push of a button. This has made it all too easy for us to forget how vital it is to have important names and numbers memorized. Be sure to teach your children the names and numbers to emergency contacts instead of solely relying on their cell phones and electronic devices to store the information for them. They may never know where they may find themselves without their electronic device, in the case of an emergency.
Readily Recognize Safety Officials
We teach our children not to talk to strangers, but we often fail to mention that we need to rely on police and firemen (who are also strangers) to help us. Children need to know how to readily identify safety officials, such as police officers, firefighters, and even crossing guards. Teach them what uniforms to look for and what each person can do to help them. Consider taking them down to their local fire or police station so they can become familiar with the different types of safety officials before going out on their own.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of safety skills that children should know, but we have found that these are the three most important in keeping children safe. Kids Live Safe works to protect children from sexual predators and unnecessary dangers. Arming your children with this information can do just that.
One of the most difficult topics to approach with children is inappropriate touching. Parents often feel uncomfortable talking to their young children about their bodies for fear of over-sexualizing them at a young age. However, with the prevalence of child sexual abuse, it is important that even young children know how to protect themselves and actively express any incidences that may have occurred. With these helpful talking points and tips from Kids Live Safe Reviews, you can begin the discussion to help educate your child about body safety.
- Explain what safe touching is
It is common that children become curious about their bodies the more they get older. This curiosity is often preyed upon by child predators. Be proactive and openly discuss what is considered appropriate and inappropriate touching. Explain what “safe touching” is and how anything that is contrary to that should be reported and stopped immediately. The Swim Suit Rule is a good place to start.
- Keep the conversation light and easy
As difficult as it is for you to discuss this, it is equally difficult for children to comprehend. The topic is serious, but the delivery does not have to be straight-laced. Keep the conversation lighthearted and easy so that you both feel comfortable talking about the topic. This is a good topic to discuss during bath or potty time.
- Use basic and appropriate language
It may be easier to nickname private parts when talking to your child, but this can cause confusion. Children may either not associate the name with the part or may not take the conversation seriously. Use simple, basic language and call the parts of the body by their actual names instead of “hoo-hahs” and inappropriate street terms.
- Teach children to trust their feelings
Even though children are still learning the differences between right and wrong, they do have their own form of intuition to guide them. If a child was touched and they feel something is wrong, they will know. Teach children to trust, not shy away from that instinct.
- Incorporate outside resources
There are plenty of blogs (like this one) and books that help illustrate this topic in a way that is easy for parents and children. Great titles like, “Your Body Belongs to You” by Cornelia Maude Spelman and “No Means No” by Jayneen Sanders are great books to help aid in the discussion about body empowerment and respecting decisions.
As hard as this topic is to discuss, it’s extremely important that parents take the time to cover this topic thoroughly with their children. For more information and child safety tips and strategies, be sure to check out our website and follow our blog.