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Teach Your Child How to Stay Alert

Today’s society forces parents to teach children about the dangerous side of life. When just twenty years ago children could walk through their neighborhood and feel safe, today children have to know about the dangers that lurk in every corner of the world. Concisely, being alert can save a child’s life.

The controversy for parents today is the questionable approach of putting fear into children’s lives, while attempting to keep them safe. Peggy Noonan, author of We’re Scaring Our Children to Death, asks, “Why are we frightening our kids like this, with such insensitivity? Part of it is self-indulgence, part of it is profit, but not all of it is malevolent. Some of it is just mindless. Adults forget to think about kids. They forget what it’s like to be a kid.”

Contrary to this thought Donna Norris, the mother of abducted child Amber Hagerman, states, “scare your children, it’s better to do so and have them come home than not and lose them forever. EThe case of Amber Hagerman has lead to the current Amber Alert for abducted children.

It is left up to parents to either teach their children to be alert and inform them of the dangers this world caters or not. If you feel it is important for your child to know and be alert here are a few age appropriate tips to help you maintain a healthy way to keep your children alert.

Preschool
Talk to your children about safety issues that concern you, whether that be abductions or road safety. It’s important that parents make young children feel safe, but let them know the dangers that are apparent in their world today. Although children have been taken from their bedroom window, young children don’t need to know this. Just that a variety of things happen that parents can’t always control and teach them a variety of ways to get out of any situation where a “bad Eperson might try to take them away.

Show them how to scream, bite, kick or do anything they can if someone they don’t know try’s to take them away from their parents. As much as possible provide this information delicately. Make sure they know to stay by their parents in a grocery store or department store, that a bad person can be a man or a woman and can be anywhere.

Main points to address:

  • Make them feel comfortable, but aware.
  • Talk to them about “bad Epeople.

Grades K-3rd
Young elementary children should understand how abductions work and what happens during one. As this stage of childhood children tend to spend a little more time away from their parents. Explain to your children that they should always know where they are and who is in the same environment. If there is someone there that makes them feel uncomfortable, tell them to never dismiss these feelings, their best bet for survival is their natural senses.

If they find themselves in a situation, such as a kidnapping, make sure they know what to scream, “this is not my father or mother. EExplain to them that they have to get their mouth free, by doing whatever they have to, to alert others in the area that they are being taken by someone they don’t know.

You can always purchase your child a whistle, pepper spray, or other safety equipment if they have to walk home alone from school or have to be in a location that is unfamiliar to them or you.

Main points to address:

  • Teach them ways to get away.
  • Explain how abductions work.
  • Give them things to feel safe when they are away from home.

Grades 4th-6th
Talking to your children about abduction at this age group is best when you are completely honest. Children want to know the truth about everything, even Santa, which is understandable. Although there is no simple way to put the truth about abduction to this age group, it is best to be straightforward with them. “I’m sorry this is something you have to deal with, but the truth is..”

This is also a good age for children to have products that can save their lives, whether you would like them to carry around a whistle or Mace (which is probably not recommended for children below high school grades). You can talk to local law enforcement about products that are recommended for children in this age group, they may have products that only the police force knows about. You can also get your child involved in community activities about awareness issues and protection issues. Do whatever it takes for you and your child to be comfortable, safe and alert.

Main points to address:

  • Tell them the truth about abductions.
  • Give them things to feel safe and comfortable.

Posted in Health.

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