No matter how parents try to hold on to their children’s babyhood and all that came with it, the time will come when kids have to be let out so they can explore the world on their own. And while you rejoice in seeing him grow up to be a well-rounded person, the reality is his need for your constant presence has started to dwindle as well.
Your primary concern is to ensure your children’s safety while they discover their environment without you by their side. You know this is going to be difficult as you both adjust to the new situation. It doesn’t help that the society where your child belongs now is so much different from the kind you grew up in.
So how do you teach your children to take care of themselves when you cannot be physically present to protect them? Here are three important tips that every parent with a growing child must know.
- Teach them the value of keeping important information. Children must be able to recite their parents’ names, their home address, and phone numbers. Drill them on these regularly; let them role play with you at home so they will develop confidence in giving directions to adults when needed.
- Never ever talk to strangers. This is one rule that never gets old. They are not to talk to a stranger even if that person introduces himself as a family friend. Never get into a car with a person they are not familiar with, even if that person promises to take them to Mom and Dad.
- They are not to give in when someone is making them do things that make them uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if they are in a theme park or at the mall or at a birthday party where kids’ activities are in full swing, if someone asks them to do anything that doesn’t look right to them, they must refuse and leave right away. This teaches your children to discern what is proper and acceptable and not tolerate peculiarity when they sense it.
Most children are fascinated with the idea of “freedom” when Mom and Dad are not present and use it as a venue to explore things that sometimes lead to untoward events. It pays to teach your children the value of being responsible for themselves, especially when they know that you are not around.