It is rare that I say there is something that applies to all children. I’m a pretty laid back parent and I am all about supporting moms and dads, even when their parenting styles differ from my own. But this is one I think is really important. These are things that I believe, apply to every child. Safety rules that we should actively be teaching our kids from the moment they can comprehend them. This post contains affiliate links.
Not all strangers are dangerous – We all know the famous “stranger danger” rule, but in the even that my kiddo gets lost, I don’t want him terrified of asking for help. Instead of warning against all strangers, we teach the kids to look for another mom if they can’t find one us. Hunt for a nice lady that has little kids with her, and ask her for help. This way, the child won’t be afraid to receive help from the very people who would be able to safely assist them in finding me.
Mom and Dad’s names – Again, if a child is lost, it’s not helpful for every one to run around calling for “mommy”. Learning that mommy’s name is Paula Rollo means they can always communicate who they are looking for and who they belong with. After they know your name, you can also begin working on your phone number. I loved this mom’s method to teach kids their phone number. It’s important for kiddos to know!
Street Safety – Looking both ways before crossing streets, holding hands, and general awareness of cars and watching out for them. It’s important for littles to know that they need to be aware of the cars, because cars won’t always be able to see them!
About their bodies – Kids need to know they have ownership of their own bodies. They need to know that hugs, kisses and touching are always their choice. They have the power to say no and a can always speak up if some one is doing something to their body that they don’t like or makes them feel funny. They should know that there are some parts of their body that should never be touched by another person and that they shouldn’t touch others in those areas either. This does not have to be a scary conversation. You can use simple children’s books to spark the conversation and leave it at that until their questions and maturity level would make a deeper conversation more appropriate. Although it’s goal is abuse prevention this book helped my toddlers understand why they can’t hit/kick/pinch other kids too. “Their bodies belong to them, my body belongs to me”. An easy way to show that every one is in control of their own bodies and we never harm another person’s body or touch them in a way that they do not want.
While your safety rules may differ a bit from mine, the main point is that we are thinking about these things and discussing them with our kids. As much as we may hope and aim to be around to protect and guide them throughout every moment of their lives, the simple truth is we can’t be. It’s our job as parents to not only protect them physically, but to also teach them to make correct choices and know that they have the power to say no and stand up for themselves.
These discussions are important pieces of every child’s life.
What safety rules are you teaching your children?
Here are some of our favorite resources for teaching kids about body safety in an age appropriate and fun way.
In addition to these safety rules, here’s one more conversation a lot of parent’s skip… What do you think?
I’m sure you can tell that this is a topic I am very passionate about. You can read more of my personal story and history as a child abuse survivor here, and why I’m so passionate about educating kids about how to protect themselves, while also doing everything in our power to keep them safe.
If you feel stuck with how to approach the topic of abuse with your young kids, I’ve compiled a list of books I recommend to start the conversation with your little ones. These can get you started with kids as early as two years old! Each of these talks about boundaries in a safe, age-appropriate way for young kids.