Holiday times are meant to be times of freedom and fun, well they certainly are for the children but for the working parent they can be times of sheer stress. Juggling work and childcare is no easy feat and the bane of every parent’s life each year. The long stretch of summer break has to be prepared for well in advance to ensure you have peace of mind. It’s easier when they are younger and the only option is childcare or clubs but as they grow older and become more independent it becomes harder to ensure their safety. Teaching your children about the dangers in the world is not an easy thing to do without instilling more fear into them or worse still, impressing your anxieties on to them. You need to ensure they will grow up confident, fearless and able to take care of themselves when they step out into the world. There are, however, some simple steps you can take to help teach your children basic safety skills.
As they start to grow up, from a young age start teaching them their full name, address and phone number. Now this may sound like an obvious task but it can be easily overlooked. It’s such a simple thing and will give you peace of mind that they will know how to reach you in an emergency. Also teach them how to dial 999 and write a list of emergency numbers and leave it by the phone. Another good rule for them to learn is should they find themselves alone at home, when answering the phone, tell them never to reveal to the person on the end that they are alone and if the door knocks and they are not expecting anyone, then tell them never to answer it. These simple rules can keep your child safe when home alone.
When your children get to an age when they can play outside with their friends, make sure they have your mobile number with them so they can contact you whenever they need you. Also if they are out on a trip with the family, if they get lost and have your mobile number, they will always be able to call you. Even our own parents told us basic rules that stick in our minds such as never talk to strangers and don’t get into a stranger’s car but children should also know that it’s OK to be rude to a stranger. Often they will do things they do not want to do for fear of being impolite but tell them that it’s fine to ignore the stranger or to run off to safety. Also why not have a practice screaming session in the garden! It sounds odd I know, but they need to know how to use their voice without being shy or feeling stupid. Once they know it’s OK to scream loudly in an emergency you will feel more comfortable at letting them out on their own.
Good communication with your children throughout their lives will help encourage openness and trust. Once this is established, as they grow independent you will be more likely to trust them to tell you where they are going and who they are going with. There are times however when even the most trusted and sensible teenager can forget to update you when their plans change. That’s where kids gps tracker devices can help. They can attach easily to clothing or bags and will allow you to track your child wherever they go. You can locate them on your phone via an app as long as there is a phone signal or WiFi. You can even set geo-fencing zones so that if they have said they are going to a friend’s house but end up going elsewhere you will be sent an alert when they move out of and back into the zone you set. These GPS tracking devices also have SOS functions that will alert you when they are in trouble so you can locate and get help to them immediately. Peace of mind for a small investment.
As with most things in life, common sense rules and if you instil these basic steps from an early age and build an honest and trusting relationship with your children as they grow up, you will have given them all the tools they need to keep themselves safe at all times. Then by using the latest technology you have added another level of protection which will help alleviate some of your stress so you don’t dread the holidays quite so much!