If you haven’t read my post about the “Tricky People Rule” go over and check that out, it will give you some background as to why I am writing this post. 🙂
Founder of Safely Ever After, Pattie Fitzgerald, is truly a godsend. She has given us a “one-stop shop” for advice that I would have searched the internet hours for. I know I said I would condense the information down but there are so many great tips for parents on this site it was extremely difficult. I have decided to break this into a few different posts so as not to overwhelm you.
I truly do believe these are things every parent should know, no matter how old your children are. It’s never too late to teach them how to be safe.
First I will start off with her prevention tips “because knowledge is power.”
She gives us 16 prevention tips and, in my opinion, every single one of them is important and should be followed.
- Remind your children: Safe grownups don’t ask kids for help.
- Never leave young children unsupervised….not even for a minute.
- Replace the word “STRANGER” with “TRICKY PERSON”: It’s not what someone looks like, it’s what they say or what to do with a child that makes them unsafe or “tricky.”
- A “tricky person” can be someone you know well, don’t know at all, or just know a little bit… like your mail carrier or the ice cream man. ANYONE who tries to get a child to break their safety rules or hurt their body is not okay.
- Listen to your child. If they don’t want to be around a particular person, such as a babysitter, relative, or family friend, don’t force them. They may be getting a “RED FLAG” signal that you are unaware of.
- Be mindful of settings where older children have a lot of privacy with younger children. Keep doors open, especially during playdates.
- Practice personal safety strategies with your kids: what would they do if they were lost in a store? What would they say if someone asked them for directions or assistance?
- Do not write your child’s name on the outside of any personal belongings such as a backpack or jacket.
- Older children should always use the buddy system whenever and wherever possible.
- “THE UH-OH FEELING”: Trust your instincts and let your child know it’s okay for them to trust theirs.
- Establish a straight forward family rule: NO SECRETS ALLOWED, especially if it involves “PRIVATE PARTS” or “UH-OH” touches. IT’S ALWAYS OKAY TO TELL!
- Let children decide for themselves how they want to express affection. Do not force them to hug or kiss another person.
- Spend time with your kids. Children who are starved for attention can be especially vulnerable to a predator’s tricks.
- Volunteer at your child’s school or other activities. Know who the people are who are interacting with your children.
- Develop strong communication skills with your child so that they will feel safe coming to you if something is bothering them.
- Teach safety concepts in a loving, easy-going manner. Scare tactics can make a child fearful and are not necessary.