As a parent, your instinct is to protect your kids at all costs. The truth is both familiar and unfamiliar people pose a risk to your children. That’s why it’s crucial for you as a parent to know how to have a discussion with your kid about safety as they grow up and face many dangers.. Instructing kids in secure practices is worthwhile, and the resources below can help.
The risk does not only come from unknown individuals.
Stranger danger is a catchy phrase, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
- The kidnapper of a child is usually someone the kid knows.
- At least 90% of sexual abuse of children occurs within the home, typically by a family member or close friend.
- Nearly half (49%) of children under age six are abused by family members, compared with 42% of children 7-11 and 24% of those 12-17.
Child victims also face threats such as schoolyard violence, sexual exploitation and trafficking, cyberbullying, and online predators.
Children of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds are susceptible to sexual abuse. Abusers can be of any age, even another child, but men make up the vast majority (88 percent).
Worrying information for any parent to consider. But knowing about them will allow you to safeguard your children and instruct them on how to avoid harm.
Maintain a state of vigilance.
It’s crucial to teach kids about safety without frightening them and to set a good example yourself. Important safety measures to consider when your child is not in your physical presence include keeping tabs on your child’s whereabouts, familiarizing yourself with your child’s friends and their hangouts, and maintaining consistent means of contact.
Remind your children of these four guidelines for personal safety when they are old enough to venture out on their own:
Please fill me in on your current activity.
Before doing anything, including going somewhere or agreeing to something, you must always let me (or the other parent) know about it.
Bring a pal.
Don’t go it alone; use the buddy system. Continue as a unit!
Just say “no” to people.
If you have any doubts about something, say no. If you feel unsafe, you should say something or leave immediately.
Inform a responsible adult.
Don’t keep anything to yourself. You can tell me if anything strange occurs. In any event, you should always let someone know what took place. You must stay safe.
A Reaction to Threat
How can a kid tell if something is off? Situations can be overwhelming for kids, who might not know how to process or articulate their emotions. Protect your children by instructing them to recognize and react to potentially dangerous situations.
If your kids have a gut feeling that something is wrong, tell them to trust their gut. The key is teaching kids to trust their gut. Justify that:
- Potentially, they’ll experience a squeezing sensation in their chest.
- Perhaps it’s just your intuition telling you something is off.
- They may be experiencing stomach pains.
- Perhaps it’s an enigmatic sensation that they’re struggling to put their finger on.
In order to help children feel comfortable expressing their emotions, it is important to help them understand that their feelings are based on a reaction to something real. Provide children with safety advice such as:
- Get out of here ASAP.
- Ignore anyone who seems suspicious and tries to talk to you.
- Confide in a responsible adult.
Before letting your kids venture out alone, talk with them about staying safe. To that end, you might want to make the following preparations:
- A store clerk or other worker can hold their place in line until you or a caregiver can pick them up if they happen to be shopping.
- You should find a safe place for them to wait until you or help arrives if they are at someone else’s house.
- When your kids are old enough, plan for them to go off on their own and meet you somewhere later.
Children can learn important skills for coping with scary situations, such as stranger danger, by acting them out in a pretend setting. Make up a scary scenario and go over these safety measures with them:
- If someone inappropriately touches them, they can push back or yell for help.
- It’s acceptable to make a lot of noise and yell at people to get their attention.
The 4 Most Critical Things You Can Do to Keep Your Kids Safe
If you want to make sure your kid stays safe, listen to these four sound pieces of advice from child safety specialists.
Helping kids learn the names of their various body parts.
Teaching kids the names of their various body parts can be a lot of laughs. It can be awkward to give a name to a private body part when learning to name other parts of the body. However, things will improve. Keep in mind that children who know their own bodies and have learned basic self-defense are less likely to be abused.
Instruct young people in the medical terminology for their private regions, including the anus, breasts, buttocks, chest, penis, scrotum, vagina, and vulva. Reiterate to the kids that those areas of their bodies are personal and should not be touched by anyone but themselves. Exceptions, like healthcare, can be justified.
Learning to establish limits as a child.
Children are often naive and will likely comply if instructed to give a friendly greeting hug to each person they meet. Do not, however, coerce them into it. It may be well-intentioned, but crossing the boundaries, your child has set for his or her body, whether consciously or unconsciously, could cause emotional distress.
For children to learn about limits, adults must respect their own preferences regarding physical contact. It’s polite to make eye contact, greet people, and bid them farewell.
Assure your kids that they can maintain their privacy by choosing not to give out any identifying information. Even kids get to pick who they hang out with. People have the right to put space between themselves and those who do not respect their boundaries.
Limits and limits talk with kids can help them feel more secure in their own skin, making them less vulnerable to predators and abusers.
Instructing young people on the importance of protecting their personal information.
Children should be helped to define and protect their private space.
Instill an appreciation for personal space in your children by teaching them to use the bathroom, change into pajamas, and sleep in their own rooms.
- Children learn to respect the privacy and space of others when they are shown the same consideration.
- Explain to kids, when they’re old enough to understand, that laws are in place for everyone’s safety, including theirs. It must be emphasized that no adult has the right to cause physical harm to a child. Informing kids that sexual and physical abuse is illegal is important.
It is unnecessary to know every nuance of the laws. Children can better appreciate the value of safety when they are made aware of the protections they enjoy under the law. Also, if your kids are aware of these regulations, they may feel more comfortable coming forward with information about any strange occurrences they have witnessed.
Instilling in kids the belief that it’s safe to share anything.
Abusers use secrets to intimidate and maintain control over their victims, so it may seem safer to keep quiet than to risk their safety. They may also use threats or the line, “No one will believe you,” when dealing with children.
Meaningful articles you might like: 5 Ways To Improve Your Parent-Child Relationship, Children’s Safety On School Buses, Protecting Your Children in the Pool: Safety Tips for Summer Fun