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Tips for keeping kids safe

Tips for keeping kids safe
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As children grow up they naturally gain more freedom. However, as parents, this can be nerve-wracking. Letting your kids go out to play with friends, navigate public transport or even walk to school on their own is an important part of their development, but it’s normal for parents to have a few worries when the time comes. Don’t panic though; we’ve come up with a list of things you can do to keep your kids safe when they venture into the big wide world all on their own.

Introduce freedom gradually

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that now your child has reached a certain age she should be doing something on her own and just leave her to it. For example, if you feel she is ready to walk to school alone then start by accompanying her part of the way. As the days go on reduce the distance you walk with her until you don’t leave the house. Introduce freedom gradually and the transition will be smoother for both of you.

Let kids know they can come to you with anything

If your child feels uncomfortable with something then she might be wary to come to you in case you’re disappointed in her. Make sure your kids know that whatever has happened or whatever their concerns, you’ll listen carefully, take them seriously and try to resolve the issue. This includes things like teenagers needing picked up because they’ve got themselves into a situation they’re uncomfortable with.

Secrets are bad

Many cases of abuse are never reported because the victims have been told to keep what is happening a secret. Tell your children that if anyone tells them to keep a secret then they should tell you as soon as possible. If you’re talking about gifts or other nice things and you want to children to keep quiet then call them ‘surprises’ rather than secrets so not to confuse your child.

Privacy

Let your kids know that any area of the body covered by a swimsuit should never be touched by anyone without their consent. Their body is theirs and if they don’t want contact with another person then that is totally fine. Don’t force kids to hug or kiss relatives goodbye, they can wave or blow a kiss if they prefer not to be touched. Kids may not realise that they are being touched inappropriately unless you teach them where boundaries lie. Talking about these things from an early age ensures that they won’t feel ill at ease coming to you if something does happen.

Tips for keeping kids safe

Teach them to make good decisions

You can’t tell your children what to do all the time. The best you can do is teach them your values and expectations to encourage them to make good decisions for themselves. Push kids to trust their own instincts and make sure they know how to get out of potentially dangerous situations.

Communicate

Communication is key to finding out what is going on in your children’s lives. If they have a significant amount of freedom then you might not be totally aware of what happens during that time. Use mealtimes or evening routines to spend time chatting and catching up on each other’s day. The more relaxed your kids are about talking to you, the more likely they’ll be to share concerns.

 

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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