- Raise kids who know how to keep themselves safe -
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Many of us lament over the "good old days" when we were free to roam the neighborhood and play with friends unsupervised by adults. In this day and age, parents are wise to keep a much closer eye on their kids. How do we do so while at the very same time communicating this essential truth?
Nobody can ensure your safety if you habitually place
yourself at risk.
Here are some tips for striking a balance:
Don't sugarcoat the world.
As soon as kids are able to walk and talk and understand the basics, parents are smart to help them understand some unfortunate truths: there are some very bad people in the world who do very bad things to kids; there's a difference between "good touch" and "bad touch"; sometimes "bad people" look like "good people," etcetera.
Children need to understand that kids who do unwise things like running into the street in front of cars or placing their hands in the garbage disposal stand a good chance of being maimed or killed.
Model calm confidence.
Obviously our goal is not to traumatize children with inappropriately vivid details. Our objective is to tell the truth in a simple and developmentally appropriate manner.
Our demeanor will make all of the difference. If we share the truth with anxiety, our kids will become anxious. If we do it with calm confidence, the odds increase that they will become calm and confident.
Help them see that they are ultimately responsible for their own safety.
Ask your child the following question:
"We love you and want to do our best to help you be safe.
Even though this is true, do you think we can keep you safe if you aren't trying hard to keep yourself safe?"
Make sure they are making as many small mistakes as possible.
The "price tag" of mistakes goes up every day. Kids who are allowed to make plenty of small ones… and experience the consequences… are far less likely to make life-threatening mistakes later on.
The goal of Love and Logic is to raise kids who know how to keep themselves safe rather than consistently relying on someone else to do so.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay

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