consistent parenting advice
consistent parenting advice

Child Safety Tips

These child safety tips can be taught and rehearsed regularly in order to combat anxiety in children and their parents.

consistent parenting advice The Number One of Child Safety Tips
  • 1. It Is My Body - I Can Choose What Happens With It

My memories of anxiety in childhood are filled with examples of being tickled by relatives when I clearly did not want that.

I didn't know how to avoid it and it seemed common practice by extended family members, probably as a way of making contact with young children.

I'm sure it was harmless and with good intent, however, I can clearly remember not only really disliking the feeling of being constrained and then tickled furiously, but being scared stiff I would wet myself and being quite frantic about asking for them to stop.
child safety tips
I can remember one relative saying, "You want me to stop do you?", over and over as he continued to scrabble his fingers into my ribs. These memories bring back thoughts of excruciating embarrassment and a sense of having no control over myself at all. This can be a cause of much anxiety in children.

Being told to hug and kiss other adults when I didn't want to is also an embarrassing memory. Children should always know they have a choice when it comes to this form of intimacy.

They should know that they do not have to kiss Auntie Mavis or Uncle Harry if they do not want to. I clearly remember feeling that I would embarrass my mother if I didn't do as I was told to - and I clearly remember not wanting to be that close to a particular uncle.

It made me feel quite powerless.

Children need to learn that they can trust their feelings - not to have them ridden over by their parent's instructions to hug someone just to make the other person feel better.

  • 2. Combat Anxiety In Children - Help Them Learn To Trust

A true safeguard for children is to give them the sure and certain knowledge that they are listened to and really heard.

If they can trust that you will listen and respond accordingly to small details, then they can learn to trust you with bigger, more secretive knowledge.

Listening and responding to the apparent little things creates a set of experiences that children can rely on. If they trust you to be there for them, they will almost certainly feel more able to come to you with more complex issues.

  • 3. Child Safety Tips - Understanding Secrets

It helps your children to understand about secretive behaviour if you explain that secrets usually have a 'use by' date. For example, we keep gifts secret until birthday or Christmas time and we keep surprise outings or parties secret until the day of the occasion.

If we are told to keep a secret for all time, with no cut off date, then it is usually a bad secret and therefore needs to be told now. It is really important that you assume a non-judgmental attitude and appear unshocked when initially listening to your child's deepest secrets.

Children are very capable of 'editing' in order to protect you.

  • 4. Child Safety Tips - Be Available To Your Children

child safety tips It takes time and intention to create a safe haven for a child. To be able to be heard with an open heart and a non judgmental mind is a treasure we all need. What a gift to offer to your children!

I would recommend making regular opportunities to be available to hear your children's thoughts, to share your own with them, and to open the way for ongoing dialogue about hopes, fears, dreams and questions.
Sitting around the meal table together provides for an enriching, secure family environment which fosters sharing and listening.

Another simple way is to regularly spend one on one time with each of your children and foster an exchange of confidences. Taking an interest and simply being there for them all takes time and a positive intention on your part.

Maybe you could walk together, eat out together or take part in a fun activity. A really valuable sharing time is the quiet time before bed when the day's activities are quietly discussed and fears can be settled before sleep.

  • 5. Child Safety Tips - Release Anxiety in Children

Encourage your older children to write a diary each day, with emphasis on feelings rather than as a calendar of events. Maintain strict privacy around this as a means of helping them to establish a broad base of trust.

Pouring one's feelings out in a diary should be an experience of release and needs to be a reliable exercise for your child - one in which there is no room for prying by others.

I still have a diary I wrote when I was nine years old and it clearly outlines some of the uncertainties that were happening for me at the time as well as the means to confront them.

  • 6. Child Safety Tips - Teach Strategies For Safety

  • Make sure your children know about emergency procedures, phone numbers, and back up plans.

  • Keep lists of names and numbers of the people they can seek help from.

  • Develop a supportive network of family and friends whom your children know and trust.

  • Speak about police and others in authority with respect around your children. You never know when your child may have to trust a policeman for help.

  • Keep a watchful eye on their cell phone and Internet activities.

    • 7. Child Safety Tips - Teach Your Children To SCREAM LOUDLY

    child safety tips As a counselor I have often been told of people's inability to call out for help or to make a noise during a crisis situation. If we are trained in childhood to be quiet and not make too much noise, it can be really difficult to scream for help or call out loudly.

    Too often I have heard people explain that as children, they struggled with the idea of politeness when they should have been yelling for help. It may be difficult to imagine, but struggling with when to be polite can be a source of great anxiety in children, especially when they feel unsure of their own judgment.

    I suggest you hold practice sessions and show your children how to make a noise when they need to!

    Tell them that a siren on an emergency vehicle is a safety noise, and the louder it sounds the more everyone is aware of the danger.

    • 8. Child Safety Tips - Watch For Signs Of Bullying

    Speak with your children about bullying, both about acting as the bully and as the recipient of bullying behaviour.

    Tell them some of your own stories about seeing or experiencing bullying and encourage conversation about this aspect of school life.

    Barbara Coloroso has written an excellent book on The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander.

    This very readable book addresses all aspects of bullying, including that played by the bystander.

    Highly recommended.

    • 9. Child Safety Tips - Promote Safe Risk Taking

    Promote safe risk taking so that your children learn to trust their feelings and learn the difference between what is safe and unsafe.

    Help them to see the difference between adventures and risky behaviour so that they continue to step out confidently.
    • 10. Child Safety Tips - Be Aware of the Smaller Details in Your Children's Lives

    Know who their friends are, what they are reading, which activities they are enjoying and which are becoming burdensome.

    Get to know their teachers
    their friend's parents
    find out about their hopes and dreams
    and learn to know their personalities clearly
    what's important
    what hurts them
    what their fears are.

    Anxiety in children is framed in many and various ways. Knowing your children's daily life intimately helps provide a framework for you to access and support them.

    Seek out what they are good at and what they are embarrassed by - all this intimate knowledge gives you an awareness of their daily lives and helps you to watch for any changes. be your child's champion!

    Learning these child safety tips and rehearsing their use regularly is one way to help combat anxiety in children and to promote greater self control and confidence.

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