It seems that every day there’s another story of children being victimized in some way. Whether it’s kidnapping, abuse, or drugs, the tragedies never seem to stop. It has created a mentality of fear in parents’ minds, one that has them afraid to let their kids out of their sight.
Of course, this life in a bubble isn’t very fulfilling for kids. It also fails to develop a lot of skills, such as the creativity built by independent play and just their ability to get along with other kids.
Fortunately, there are practical solutions to these problems. We can protect our children effectively while still letting them just go out and be normal kids. That’s how we as parents can relax and enjoy their childhood instead of feeling like we’re constantly on watch (even though we still really are on watch).
Think about some of these ways to help your kids have adventures without danger.
Install An Alarm System
One of the most common fears we have for our kids is what might happen when we have to leave them home alone. The demands of work and other commitments force many families to be split up for several hours each evening, often leaving at least one child home without an adult. The constant phoning and messaging to check in are worrisome, and it’s not going to deter a criminal anyway.
That’s where alarm monitoring services come in. Your child can come home, set the alarm to deny entry but permit movement inside the home, and go about his or her business without concerns for you or them that a criminal can get inside undetected. Any attempt to open a window or door will trigger an alarm that will notify you, your child, and the authorities–as well as the intruder! It’s a deterrent as well as a protective measure.
Get To Know Neighbors
We often avoid letting our kids roam the neighborhood because we don’t know our neighbors. And while it’s true that some of them may need to be watched, most are families just like yours. You just haven’t gotten acquainted.
This can fall under the umbrella of our busy schedules. We don’t know our neighbors because we don’t have time to get to know them. That’s when you have to make time.
Figure out a way to get all the neighborhood families together. Choose a spacious outdoor location along your street and organize a picnic. Let people bring food, games, and other things to build bonds among the residents.
Of course, it doesn’t take a formal event to get acquainted. Stop by when you see your neighbors outside. Stand along the fence and shoot the breeze with them. You’ll know soon enough that they’re trustworthy, and they’ll do likewise. From that point you’ll not only trust them to supervise your kids, you’ll also be able to help them with theirs.
Educate Your Kids
In a world so involved with social media, we spend a lot of time educating our kids about safety with their phones and computers. Those conversations are important and beneficial, but they can’t push out traditional safety learning.
One of the most common problems with social media isn’t the people they communicate with but the fact that their eyes and minds are on their phones instead of their surroundings. That makes it easier than ever for assailants of all kinds to approach them undetected.
We need to think back to the lessons we all learned as kids in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. We need to make sure kids know their address if they need to call for help. They need to understand how to exit the home safely if there’s a fire. And even the old standard of not talking to or accepting rides from strangers is still relevant. It takes a firm stance as a parent to instill these lessons in our kids because the stakes are high.
The world has changed, and the new dangers are scary. But the old dangers were pretty scary to our parents. We need to learn how to wisely manage all the threats to our kids so that they can safely enjoy their childhoods.