We all want the best for our kids. We want them to have more than we had. A better, safer, life. We also want them to be independent. There’s this fine line between keeping them safe and letting them be their own people. The younger they are, the firmer the barriers. As they get older how can we keep them safe?
As our children get older their boundaries get wider, but boundaries still need to apply. Most parents teach their kids good rules. Wear your seatbelt, look both ways before you cross the street etc. But just teaching them isn’t enough. We need to make sure they are following those rules when we aren’t around. Make sure they know how important safety rules are to you. Don’t back down when they want to deviate, but make sure your hand is gentle and firm at the same time.
Give them Something to Think About
Personal stories and experiences can strengthen your testament to why it’s important your kids stay safe. My parents crashed our car when I was ten-years-old. The SUV rolled three times, but the worst thing that happened to any of us was a bloody nose. Seatbelts really did save our lives that day. I tell my kids that now so they know how important it is to always buckle up. There are reasons for car and street safety laws and our kids should know what those reasons are.
Make it a Two Way Conversation
Asking questions can engrain subjects into your children’s minds. When they have to come up with an answer for themselves, it means that much more. Giving them the chance to think through a dangerous situation on their own will make them pause before making a bad choice. They’ll remember their answer before they choose something bad. It won’t prevent them every time, but it’s a good stepping stone.
Understand that They will Make Mistakes
No child is perfect, and no adult is either for that matter. You can push these things into your children’s minds, but ultimately the choice is theirs. They are going to make mistakes. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t done your job as a parent. Sometimes the only way for children to learn is to make a mistake. Of course we don’t want harm to come to our children, and we only hope they won’t get seriously hurt, but don’t blame yourself if something terrible happens. The most important thing you can do is the teach them the best you can and be an example to them.
There is no guaranteed way to keep our children safe at all times. But we can impart our wisdom to them. Rules in the car and on the street are laughing matter, and children should know that. Teaching our children is tricky business, but it’s something that is important for their lives now and in their future. Never give up on helping your kids make good choices.