Act it out

You’re a caring loving parent. You buy your child all the coolest clothes and sign your kids up for dance class, soccer, tutoring, etc…  Your child is your life and you’ll do absolutely anything for them.  The unglamorous parts of parenting are taking them to the doctor, taching them right from wrong, and showing them how to navigate the perils of the world.

By far, the most important task as a parent is keeping your child safe. Safe from traffic. Safe from fire.  Safe from bodily harm. Safe from Stranger Danger. Telling your kids that there are bad people in the world, and teaching how to identify these people and avoid them. Stranger Danger is more real than you can imagine.  Every day over 2000 kids are reported missing.  Some simply ran away because they didnt like that you took away their xbox, others were taken by family members in a custody dispute.  But the harsh reality is many are abducted in a perverse and disturbing manner by total strangers.

Telling your kids what to do in certain dangerous situations is a good start, but it’s  simply not enough! www.kidformation.net/StrangerDangerfinal.pdf  You really need to act out these situations with them. More than Once. While you taught your child to scream “stop! your not my parent” and run away… will they really do it when it matters most? If you act out these scenarios, and make the child actually scream on the top of his/her lungs, i assure you it will stay with them much longer.

People dont pay attention when a child simply screams. But they will notice, and act when a child screams “HELP ME, THIS IS A STRANGER!!!”  Make your child comfortable with doing this im public. Let them know it is ok to do this if a situation arises.

Shout it out. but more importantly, ACT IT OUT. It may make the difference when it matters most.

For some great safety tips to discuss with your kids, visit my website: www.kidformation.net

 

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Whats the solution?

In my newfound role as a father of twin girls, and founder of a child safety organization, I find each day throws another set of questions and pitfalls regarding the safety of our children.

Remember how care free life was when we were kids growing up? Riding our bikes in the streets (helmets? ha!).  Roaming the streets til the last possible minute before dinnertime.  Just leaving a note telling our parents what we are doing.  Having implicit trust in our civil servants. No cell phones, no computers, no need to worry about strangers.  Times sure have changed!

Theres a million reasons parents have to be paranoid about their kids whereabouts these days.  Danger really does lurk around every corner.  Have you looked at the sex offender registry in your area? sickening.  (http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/registry/) Have you seen the DatelineNBC episodes about child predators? nauseating!  Have you heard the stories about sex offenders working in our schools? Trust me, they are there.

In todays world where every kid has a cell phone, email address, and their own laptop, it gives kids the feeling of independence, maturity and safety.  Kids are texting, sexting, facebooking, friending with alot less parental supervision than you might think.  For every rule you give your kids, they already have a loophole, and a texting language that parents will never be able to crack. http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php/ 

This new found digital independence also gives the nut jobs out there countless ways to scam their way into your childs lives.  Not everyone is who they say they are out there on the internet.  Us parents know that… but do our kids???

So whats the answer? Do you not allow them to go online in the privacy of their bedroom? An impossibility these days, considering they can access the internet from their phone, laptop, ipad, etc… Do we put spyware on our kids devices? Do you put a GPS tracker in their backpack? Do we just never allow them to leave the house ever again? Do we educate them and hope for the best?

I know the statistics and what the educational material says… but whats the real life solutions???

For some great safety tips to discuss with your kids, visit my website: www.kidformation.net

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