You are an ideal person to teach your children basic safety skills. There is no minimum age at which you should start the process of teaching your children basic safety skills, but their ability to understand will be effected by their age and development. Therefore, taking into consideration the foregoing, tailor your communication.
Teach your children:
- their full name, home phone number and how to use the phone. Test their knowledge in this area, rather than making any assumptions.
- the role of the police and that, in an emergency situation, a police officer is an adult that the child can trust.
- if anyone bothers them going to/from school, they should TELL a trusted adult, a teacher and you.
- they can tell you anything. Keep the lines of communication open.
- that you WILL set boundaries on their freedom, and that you do this because you love them, and want them to be safe.
- the buddy system.
- that you have a right and a need to know where they are, at all times, and encourage them to check in with you, on a periodic basis, when appropriate. For example, when spending the afternoon with a friend after school, your child could call you before she leaves school, and then again when she arrives at her friend’s house.
- to trust their instincts. If a situation doesn’t feel right, then it’s okay for the child to leave the situation.
- to respect the integrity of their body.
- to challenge themselves with fun sports and hobbies.
Above all else, be involved in your children’s lives.