Your childs safety depends to a large part on good communication between you and your children. This is especially true of two-income families, and single parent families where the children are left alone for extended periods of time and have to care for themselves.
In a book by police Captain Robert L. Snow he states:
In families with children constantly in trouble with the law, police officers usually find there is seldom any meaningful dialog between parents and children, and just as seldom are there any joint family activities.
Captain Snow goes on to say:
Boredom and a sense of isolation, research shows, are the greatest instigators of delinquency for these children.
It is our duty as parents to not only plan each day for our children with daily chores and responsibilities, but also to sit down with them and have heart to heart discussions concerning what we expect and give them a turn at presenting their views and concerns. Gear your discussions to your childs age and level of understanding.
IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN DO
Plan frequent activities and outings with your children, and make time for them. Keep your word.
Participate in you childs school activities. Stop by their schools and let the teachers know who you are.
Let you child know to choose decent friends and say no to things that will get them in trouble.
Dont spare discipline if your child gets into trouble.
Make sure your children are ready to care for themselves.
Make your home as secure as possible against intruders.
Get a Security System as soon as you can.
Pay special attention to door and window security, if you feel that they are a potential weak spot, do something about it right away.
Add a sight glass or peephole to exterior doors that cannot be seen-through.
Add more than one lock to exterior doors, space the locks at least 12 inches apart. This will make the doors more resistant to kick-ins.
Teach them basic home safety rules.
Get at least 2 fire extinguishers for your home, and teach them how they are used.
Get a cell/mobile phone to stay in touch with your children.
Know where your kids are, what they are doing, and whom they are with.
USE COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Establish a daily routine where your children check in with you or someone else as soon as they get home.
A telephone call to the children from you or some other close adult is always reassuring.
Ask neighbors that you know and trust to help keep an eye on your house and kids while youre away, and promise that youll do the same for them.
Establish a safe place for your kids. If your children think someone is following them home, they can go to the designated place and be safe instead of inside the house, where they could potentially be trapped.
GET TO KNOW YOUR CHILDREN
ARE THEY READY TO BE LEFT ALONE?
CAN YOUR CHILDREN-
1. Be trusted to go straight home after school?
2. Easily use the telephone, locks, and kitchen
3. Follow rules and instructions well?
4. Handle unexpected situations without panicking?
5. Stay home alone without being afraid?
Talk it over with them, and listen to their worries and ideas. Work out rules on having friends over, household chores, homework, television and games. Remember, staying at home alone can build a child’s self-esteem, sense of responsibility, and practical skills, all of which help you in the long run.
TEACH YOUR “HOME ALONE” CHILDREN
1. How to call 9-1-1 or your area’s emergency
number, or call the operator?
2. How to give directions to your house in case of an
3. To check in with you or a neighbor immediately
after arriving home.
4. How to use the door, windows, locks and the alarm
system if you have one?
5. To carry a house key with them in a safe place
(inside a shirt pocket or sock)-do not leave
it under a mat or on a ledge. You can even use a
large safety pin to secure it to you childs clothing
in a secret spot, like the inside of a shirt or sweater.
6. How to escape the house in case of fire or other
emergency, and where they can go for safety.
7. To not go into the house or apartment if things do
not look right- a broken window, ripped screen, or
opened door, but to find a phone and call police
8. To leave the area and call police if they come
Home and find a strange car, van or other
vehicle parked in the driveway.
9. To let you know about anything that frightens
them or makes them feel uncomfortable.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN
1. To never accept gifts or rides from people they
don’t know well. (And you approve of)
2. When cautioning your children about strangers,
using the phrase Dont talk to strangers, is
clearly not enough, get specific, and give exam-
3. To never get into a car with a stranger. (Explain to
them that you would never send a stranger to pick
4. Never agree to help a stranger, even if the stranger
5. To never let anyone into the home without asking
6. To never let a caller at the door or on the phone
know they are alone.
7. To always tell you, a teacher, or a trusted adult
right away if a stranger tries to touch them, offer
them a gift, offers them a ride, or makes them feel
funny or uncomfortable.
We have to prepare our children and ourselves for life within the boundaries of the present day society. Not only should we participate in our childrens day to day lives, we should also get our children involved in their safety and future, let them know that you are there for them and that they are a member of a team called our family.
Copyright © 2007 Jerry Tarrer