:: 10 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe::
Knowledge can be powerful and yet it can be scary. This topic is not our usual fluffy recipe of simple goodness, but it’s a topic we as parents can work harder at achieving. These 10 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe, is something you can practice and address to your family in your daily routine.
I recently attended a parenting safety night at my son’s school. The Joyful Child Foundation spoke to parents about teaching our children to be brave and be safe. To be honest with you, I was nervous to attend the engagement, as I knew the premise and who the speaker was. Erin Runnion, the mother of Samantha Runnion and Founding Director of The Joyful Child, was the guest speaker. Samantha was the victim of a terrible kidnapping that took place in Orange County in 2002. The Joyful Child Foundation was established in loving memory of her and their mission is to help to prevent child sexual abuse and abduction. I hope that this safety information will create some additional awareness for your children as well as your community.
I know what you are thinking…this might be a little intense, yes, but our children need us to be aware, so that we can keep them safe. I learned that over 85% of crimes against children including abduction and sexual abuse, are committed by someone the family knows and trust. Crazy right!?! I couldn’t believe it. I know my primary focus has been telling my kids about stranger danger, and that is good too, but what I learned from Erin Runnion is to be aware always of our children’s surrounding and to listen to them. Especially when they tell you that they might be afraid of seeing someone or not acting comfortable around an adult they may once have been close to.
Talking about statistics is not what will teach your child about safety. Use real life teachable moments to make your children aware of their surroundings while teaching them safety plans should they be in a potentially dangerous situation. Erin told us to focus on one teachable moment a day and focus on it in a natural setting, like driving home from school or discussing while reading stories at night. Here are the 10 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe:
Don’t assume your child knows how to be safe. Don’t lecture them while asking questions from them or discussing these tips with them. Maybe discuss with them who they think safe adults are. A great place to start besides reminding them of your immediate family, is telling them the people on their emergency card. Those people are on their card for a reason. Also discuss with them safe people that they can turn to should they get separated from you in public. A good rule of thumb is an employee that is stationed at a cash register, or a mom with small children. Also tell your children should they get lost to always scream your first name in public. Not Mom or Dad. This is good opportunity for you as a family to have a plan should they get separated from you.
A few other safe tips is to teach your children to identify one family cell phone number. Promise your children that his or her safety is most important and that learning to navigate through these unpredicted situations would allow for everyone to remain safe.
What I loved most about this parenting lecture was that The Joyful Child Foundation is trying to get programs implemented by age into the classroom curriculum. Learning self-defense techniques and safety awareness. Erin Runnion is working at one district at a time starting in Orange County. A small start, but the foundation also offers programs for children for students ranging from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Community based workshops that can be taught to small groups such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or just a group of kids that you want to help develop their skills. For more information check out The Joyful Child Foundation website. I am hoping to do this with our Boy Scout Den.
For a downloadable copy of 10 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe, click below. Let’s keep our kids safe and joyful. Hope this helps!