Let's talk safety. ...Fun right?
We know that there are things we have to do to remain safe- check and change batteries in the smoke detector, childproof, and be aware of your surroundings. We know that when it comes to our children, they'll practice fire drills, and now, active shooter protocols. As a teacher, creating routines that ensured safety began on day one. We encouraged being a first time listener, coming as soon as we called, and making sure they understood what to do regarding fire drills. Starting habits early can make all the difference in an emergency situation because you're prepared and know what to do.
Many of us in our everyday lives, however, miss out on opportunities to teach and instill these habits of safety with our children. We cannot wait for the emergency to arise in order to active these routines Some examples of everyday safety routines include,
Practicing how to get in the car quickly while you're out is essential and may be necessary in an emergency. Practice having your children get in the car quickly by opening and unlocking as few doors as possible and moving quickly.
Coming the first time you call them. Being a first time listener is essential in emergency situations. I suggest not counting because your child will be waiting for you to get to three or ten. In an emergency situation, you do not have time to wait.
Staying with you in public and running off.
Getting off your phone and being totally present. Look around and notice what's happening around you.
Not parking next to vans or suspicious vehicles. We're hearing more and more about people being trafficked and watched in stores. Be aware of your surroundings.
Not negotiating every little thing. Some things, especially when it comes to safety, are non-negotiable. During a fire, you do not have to hear how your child doesn't want to come right now. Their life depends on listening to you the first time.
Practice being quiet and not talking when you tell them to be quiet.
Having a code word for when there's danger is a good way to convey the need for help.
Don't get me wrong, I believe your child's voice is important, but not following simple routines of listening, following directions, and being aware could cost you your lives. Our society is not a gentle one, so we must make sure that our children are prepared and can survive in it. In a society where shootings and other dangers are everyday occurrences, making sure our families are prepared is imperative.
This post is not to instill fear, but rather to show the importance of preparedness. In school and t home, your children need to be able to listen to those who are there to keep them safe and protected. They have to learn how to stay safe and that can begin at a young age. Playing games where children have to listen and follow directions (red light, green light, freeze dance, and the quiet and loud game) can be wonderful ways to begin teaching these skills.
I pray you take these suggestions to heart and find ways to ensure your families stay alert and safe. I believe all our children have the right to grow up safe, happy, and healthy, it's our job as their parents to prepare them.
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