It’s a large world. When your kids were babies and toddlers, you might have always been there, and if you weren’t. you left them in the care of a responsible adult. However, as your kids grow, you’ll need to hold their hand less and less often. This can be absolutely nerve-wracking. So, here are a few ways that you can ensure they stay safe as they grow.
Help Them Develop a Good Judgement
There’s never a good substitution for supervision and knowing everything that happens in the life of your kids, but as they get older, they get more independent and they’ll need to be aware of their own instincts when it comes to what’s safe and what isn’t. They’ll also need the confidence to follow those instincts. That said, the typical teen’s brain is geared for being influenced by their peers, and this allows them to override that inner voice that tells them things like drugs are wrong when all of the other kids are doing them. If this happens, you might end up needing to check out some drug detox programs to help get them straight again. Assist your kids with the development of good judgment as well as social intelligence so that they’ll be able to resist that social pressure allure when they come across it.
Face it. The online world can be a nasty place. Between explicit content, malware, predators, and other bad things, parents can easily find themselves facing a never-ending cycle of horridness as they try to fend off every negative thing their kids might find online. It can be a tricky situation to find yourself in and a bit hard to know even where to begin. There are kid-friendly browsers, parental blocking software, antivirus software, and the ever present temptation to simply ban the internet, but when it comes to internet safety, the most important step is to have a frank conversation and an open line of communication with your kids.
On Public Transportation
When you first let them begin using public transportation, go with them. Once they’ve gotten a bit used to it, let them travel alone but stay near them. Then they’ll be ready to go with a friend. Role play with them. They need to know what to do if they become separated from their friend. They need to know what to do if someone happens to pull a knife in their vicinity. They need to know what to do in the event of a mugging. It happens. What if their phone falls onto the tracks of the subway? What if they’re being stared at by a guy who just gives them the creeps? Get them a phone and have them call you once they board and get off public transportation. That said, make sure they don’t otherwise use it while they’re on board because it might make them a target.
Talk to your kids. Listen to them. This will keep you connected and make them feel safe. Make sure to introduce topics that’ll assist them with thinking, reflecting, and developing good judgment.