Monday, April 9, 2012

Safety Chat

We go and do a lot.  We are in public places a lot.  My kids love to play outside.  They are getting older.  They are spending time with new friends in a new neighborhood.  They are with currently with me 98% of the time, but soon enough this will not always be the case. 

All these things said, my husband and I started having a “safety chat” with our kids at the dinner table one time per month.  There are certain topics that we cover in a way that toddlers can understand.  I always jump on those “teachable” moments day to day, but having a more formal chat, coupled with repetition, will hopefully help things stick!  We are careful about not making this into something that is scary or will frighten them.  We just want them to have some confidence about what to do if something were to come up.

What we talk about (with our 3 and 4 year old):

1.  What to do in case something happens to mommy.   Because I am home with them all day, I want them to know what to do in case something random were to happen to me.  They know several neighbors who are home during the day that he can go to if something were to happen.  With Drew, I am introducing how to use the phone in case of an emergency.

2.  Answering the door.  They know they are not allowed to answer the door.  Period.  End of discussion.  If I am in the shower, or out back watering the flowers, etc, they know they cannot answer the door even if it is their best friend from next door.

3.  Strangers.  This topic involves what to do if approached by a stranger in a car or on the sidewalk.  My kids spend a lot of time outside, and I want them to know it is unacceptable to approach a car even if they think the person looks nice or they think they know the person.  We include “what if” situations when discussing this. 

4.  Fire drill.  We have practiced and discussed what to do if there is a fire.  We explain that there is no time to reach for a favorite animal or toy and that there is urgency to just get out.  They know the meeting place is next door.

5.  Personal space. We are slowly starting to talk about personal space and about their bodies and what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. 

6.  What to do in case we get separated in public.  They know they are to find a person that works at the place we are (they know to look for a name tag, uniform, etc) and ask for help.

These conversations will continue to evolve and develop over time and obviously the topics will change as they get older, but we felt the time was right to start introducing a few things. 

It is also on my list of “to-do’s” to start teaching Drew our new phone number and address.

I would love to hear what you are discussing and how you are approaching it!

I always believe that when you know better, you do better. 

Happy Monday!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. My son is 10 but they're never too old to reinforce the rules, as a matter of fact I think when they are older it's important to remind them that they are not immune to the dangers just because they don't need their hand held anymore. I opened up a discussion with him over breakfast and I feel very good about it. Thanks again!

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  2. Leeann-So happy to hear this. The post was worth it because of your comment! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. This is an awesome post.. I remember my mom and dad having these same discussions with myself and my brother when we were little..and they stuck..All of them.. Great post! :)

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