As a parent, your child(ren) will be your number one priorities in life. But finding ways to keep your kids safe is something that’s often easier said than done (especially in our highly digital world).
Unfortunately, there are so many risks and threats out there, and it’s your job as a parent to make sure that your kids are protected against those things.
So, what does that look like and how can it be done?
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Encourage Open Discussion
One of the best things you can do for your child is encourage them to be open and be willing to discuss things with you. When they feel like they can talk, you’ll find that they keep fewer secrets, and that’s key when it comes to safety. But this is easier said than done! If you want your child to open up to you, please know that it’s about building a bond of trust rather than forcing him/her to disclose information.
Be patient and vulnerable. The more YOU share, the more your children will feel encouraged and safe in sharing with you in return.
Set Boundaries for Internet Usage
Setting boundaries when it comes to using the internet is a good thing. Of course, you may want to give your kids a little more independence and trust as they get older… but when they’re young, there’s nothing wrong with monitoring their usage and putting parental controls in place in order to restrict what they have access to.
There are so many scary (and downright dangerous!) things out there, and even though your children may fight you on it at times, it’s best to not let your children browse the internet unrestricted.
Give Them Permission to be Honest and Say No
It’s also important to keep your kids safe by teaching them boundaries. Consent is important, and your child needs to understand that he/she has ownership of his/her own body. Plus, the more you talk openly about consent, the more comfortable your child will feel in coming to you if something wrong is happening.
Teach Them Important Life Skills
Parents and guardians are children’s first teachers. This goes beyond the basics, but life lessons, too! One important skill is water safety. Places like Aqua-Tots Swim Schools can teach children early on. And learning at a young age will ensure that if they’re ever in a situation involving water, they’ll be able to swim to safety.
Help Them Recognize Trusted Adults
Trusted adults are obviously the people you want your child to go to if they’re ever in trouble or lost. Show them how to spot adults they can trust, such as policemen/women or people of authority who can help if they are lost or need immediate assistance. It’s important to make it clear that it’s not always right to trust strangers, even if someone presents like they know the children/the family.
As a parent, your job is to try to keep your kids safe at all costs. But this isn’t always easy, especially because you want your children to become independent and self-reliant, too. This list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what safety looks like, but hopefully it can open a conversation and lead you to stronger and healthier bonds.
To read more parenting tips, head to our blog page.
Featured Image Credit: Nate Dumlao