Author: Manny OG
In the world today, it is getting progressively important to be observant and vigilant about everything that has to do with family, especially children. The world has changed dramatically over the years so much that everyone is scared for their safety, even in the safest of places. Most things that were safe and serene back then we were kids are no longer so these days, with the rise of child molesters, rapists, kidnappers, killers and active shooters. Outdoors are almost a thing of the past nowadays, every child stays in to watch television or play video games with virtual friends, at their spare time.
It is important for children to play outside the house and get muddy and dirty, it is important for them to go out with us to public places like parties or shopping and also to visit friends at their homes, because it helps them with the development of social skills, which will be useful to them as they grow older. So, as parents, if you would like for your children to be safe in public, the following must be done;
- Know where your children are and whom they are with at all times. Make sure that they return home promptly at appointed times.
- Have them check in with you when they arrive at or depart from a particular location and when there is a change of plans.
- Never let your young children go anywhere alone. Make sure another trusted adult is present if you cannot.
- Make sure your older children, who have more freedom, always go out with a friend and that they fully understand all safety rules.
- Know what your children wear every day. Avoid putting their names on the outside of their clothes. Children may respond more readily to a stranger who calls them by name.
- Never leave your child alone in a vehicle, restroom, store, playground, or other public places.
- Have your child play in a supervised area with friends you know.
- Let your child know where you will be at all times and how to get in touch with you.
- Keep a record of your children’s friends and their phone numbers.
- Watch your child’s change in character and mannerisms and don’t feel odd about asking questions, you’ll never know what you’ll find out.
- Whenever they get anything new that you know you or your spouse did not get for them, ask them where they got and make sure you know who did.
2. When Shopping or in a Public Place
- Have your children stay with you at all times. Tell them not to wander off, leave the store, or hide. Don’t get distracted by the sights, sounds, and crowds when shopping during holidays.
- Tell them to go to the nearest clerk or person with a nametag and ask for help if they become lost. Show these people to them when entering the store.
- Accompany younger children to restrooms.
- Never leave your child at a video arcade, movie theater, food court, toy store, or mall play area as a convenient “babysitter” while you are shopping. Personnel in those areas are not there to watch children.
- If you allow an older child to go to without you, have him or her go with a friend and set a time for them to return.
3. When Moving to a New Neighborhood
- Meet your neighbors and introduce your children to them.
- Take your children on a walking tour of the neighborhood.
- Show them safe places to go it they need help, e.g., neighbor’s or friend’s homes, businesses, offices, etc.
- Show them places to avoid, e.g., deserted or abandoned buildings, dark or isolated areas, etc.
- Make a map of safe routes to the school, playground, stores, and other places where they would be allowed to go.
4. When Going to and from School
- Walk your child to and from school, and point out dangerous spots and safe places to go if he or she needs help.
- Have your child walk or bike to and from school with a friend. There is safety in numbers.
- If your child takes a bus to and from school, visit the bus stop with your child and make sure he or she learns the bus number. Have your child stay with a group while waiting for the bus.
- Ask the school to notify you whenever your child is not in class.
- Make sure that the school will not release your child to anyone but yourself or a person previously designated by you, and that the school will call you back to verify any call saying that some person will come to pick up him or her.
Finally, teach your children that it is ok to be very loud and rude to strangers whenever they feel uncomfortable and frightened by them, especially in public places. Teach them about the dangers of internet and technology in general, monitor and control everything they do on the computer, phones, tablets, etc. And don’t forget to sign them up for self-defense classes as well, in the Silat Sharaf Online Video Library we have tons of self-defense strategies you can teach to your kids.