Children nowadays are being born with the innate ability to instant explore and understand almost everything that is happening around them and particularly in their living environment. They don’t just see and listen of what is happening right in front of them, but most importantly they can feel and sense it. They tend to quickly absorb new information and assimilate it in order to generate their do&dont’s, wants, needs, etc. As parents, we have the duty to teach our kids several things about their own personal safety. In this article, we will list some ways to teach children about their safety, to get them to know the risks they take by taking a wrong decision but most importantly teach them how to think properly.
1. Do not underestimate your Child.
You must understand that your child is clever enough to understand what you are talking about if you explain in simple words what is that you want to say. Children will become what you say they are because your sayings will make them after all believe that this is what they can be. Their inner voice is already pushing them in the direction of your beliefs for them. Have you heard about the “Self-fulfilling Prophecy”? Well, this is it. For example, if a parent always praises the child about how well behaved the child is, the child itself will act like that. If you continuously saying that the child is naughty and doesn’t listen to you, then the child will be naughty and will never listen to what you want to say to him/her because this is what the child learned that is expected to become. In other words, don’t say that they are just children. That they will not understand. Don’t even think that it will take a lot of your time to explain something. Most of all, you have to repeat to them that they are good and smart enough to avoid any risk or danger or awkward circumstances that might face soon or later in life.
You can check more about the Self-fulfilling prophecy here
2. Speak the truth, simple and straight forward.
Children’s vocabulary is simple. Try not to use complex words. You have to speak to them in their language. Remember that this is not a literature lesson. This is how you are going to embed important rules to your child’s brain. Use small and simple words in order to explain what you want them to understand. For example, we say Stranger-Danger or we don’t run when we crossroad. Keep it simple and short. Do not tell lie to the children, explain to them, without scaring them, what will happen if they do not follow the rules.
3. Give examples.
People in general use examples in order to understand something and make it clear. Use the real example technique to gain their attention. Exaggerate a little bit but don’t frighten them. Make it bigger than it is in order for them to capture the danger. For example, ‘You have to stop on the pavement, behind the zebra lines, look and listen to be sure that there is no car passing or that the cars have already stopped. Then you can cross. If you don’t do what I’ve told you, the cars might hit you and you will end up in the hospital with the broken leg not be able to play football or ride your bike for several months. Like a little John, who did not listen to his mom and he ended up with two broken legs.’
4. Ask them if they understood what you ‘ve told them.
Do you understand? This is a magical question. Well, kids might say immediately yes, but the truth is that they didn’t really hear you. Ask them again and even more, ask them to explain to you what they have understood from all you have said.
5. Be their role model.
There is no better thing for you than to be your child’s role model. As a parent, the children see you and your actions as an example. Be that for your precious. Do first what you are advising them to do. When you sit in your car, wear your seatbelt immediately. Then you will see that they will imitate you. They will want to become like you and for sure they will put their seatbelt on.
6. Don’t just teach, play it.
Children don’t want another boring teacher to tell them what they can or what they cant do. They want you, their loving parent, their closest friend. When you speak to them, don’t just talk, listen to them carefully, their questions, notice when they liked something you said and think why they liked it. Was it your voice tone different? Did you make any funny moves? Capture these particular moments and use them again when you advise them.
Remember, you are the parent, you are the adult and your child depends on you. Don’t hesitate to have a conversation, give advise and be a role model to your child and when something will be troubling the child you will see that he/she will turn to you for a piece of advice or consolation. Trust yourself a furthermore, give the right path to your little ones to trust themselves.