Staying Safe in the Preschool Years
The older your toddler grows the more independence they exercise in their daily lives. Since you cannot constantly be there to protect your child, you need to start teaching your child some general rules about safety. Preschools do a fine job of teaching your children rules relating to fire safety, water safety, road safety, etc. However, the more knowledgeable your child is about these things, the better, and safer for everyone. Below are some things you can do to assist the preschool in teaching your children about safety.
It is important to teach your children about being aware of strangers without scaring them or making them feel anxious around people they don’t know. Be sure to tell them that while most strangers are good, some are not and for that reason it is important to follow certain rules when interacting with them. Be sure to let them know that if they stick to these rules, there is no reason to be worried around strangers.
Do not exaggerate the danger
Over exaggerating possible dangers is to be avoided. Either you will lose your credibility with your child since he or she will recognize that the possibilities you warn them of are highly unlikely to take place, or your child will grow up thinking that the world is a scary place. This will no doubt influence their ability to form relationships of trust and it will dampen their desire to explore their surroundings.
It may be worth going over possible scenarios with your child to help shape your child’s future behavior should they ever find themselves in such a situation. Examples could include questions such as what would you do if your friend asked you to do something unsafe, or what would you do if a stranger asked you to get in the car with him? If your child is struggling to answer you could provide possible alternatives and ask them to choose the most appropriate one. This needn’t be a boring exercise, in fact, one could easily turn this into a fun game.
Warn your child once about a possible danger. If he or she fails to listen it may be time to enforce stricter consequences. Teach your child about the bad things that could happen as a result of unsafe behavior without scaring them.
You should instil in your child a confidence in their own instincts. Tell your child to listen to the voice in his or her head as to any possible dangers or uncomfortable situations. Instincts can almost always be counted on.
Check your surroundings
While you are teaching your child how to be safe it is still important for you, as a caregiver, to make sure that their environments are as safe as possible. This means keeping dangerous objects out of reach or packed away as well as making sure the preschool to which you send your child is safe.
It is vital that you dedicate time and effort to teach your preschooler about safety. It will go a long way in ensuring that your little one stays out of harms way.