Growing up, I recall needing to always tell my parents where I was going and where I was going to be. I had an hourly check in and needed to be home when the street lights came on. I get that our grandparents were raised more strict than our parents where anyone, including teachers could spank them. Our parents were raised children are meant to be seen not heard. We were raised strict with rules and the occasional whoopin. But it seems kids these days don’t have rules or any guidance. They seem to roam more freely than I ever had. I am sure there are many reasons for this, but I have come up with a few things for parents to implement with their children to keep them safe.
Know where your children are: Have your children tell or ask permission of where they are going to be and advise them to check in at a certain time via voice confirmation not text. Have a phone number for where they are going to be even though it seems all kids have a cell phone these days.
Get to know your children’s friends/parents: I feel it is absolutely necessary to know your kids friends and parents. As we all know some parents are engaged in their kids lives and others, well, aren’t. If you are not able to meet the parents, though I find that hard to believe in most cases, at least call and have a conversation with them. Get the feel that you can trust the kids and the parents. Ask your kids what they will be doing at their friends house and if they will be supervised. If your kids are minors, don’t allow them to be at a friends house with out parents home.
Have your kids memorize important numbers: In my opinion the most important numbers your kids should have memorized are the home phone number, if you have one, your work and cell phone numbers. In the event they lose their cell phone and need to use a land line, they know what numbers to dial in case of an emergency.
Set limits on where your children can go within your neighborhood: This is knowing your neighborhood. Know if your children will need to cross a busy highway, or if they are going to be around abandoned buildings or homes, or if there are just certain houses you get a bad vibe from that you don’t want your kids anywhere near.
Choose a safe house in your neighborhood: Choose a house in which you have a good relationship with your kids can go to in the event there is an emergency and they need help. Also note other locations your kids can go to for help such as: libraries, fire stations, certain stores and police stations.
Teach your kids to settle disputes with words, not fists: Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights, and what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies.
Work together with your neighbors: Watch out for suspicious activity and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors and their kids so you can work together to keep your neighborhood safe.