Parents worry. That’s how we’re programmed, whether it’s a matter of instinct, culture, or a mixture of the two. You’re not alone in your worries concerning the safety of your children, whether it’s at home, school, or elsewhere in the world, but you don’t have to drive yourself insane with worry about them. It’s important to give your kids room to grow and learn for themselves so that they can become independent and learn to keep themselves safe one day (that’s a horrible thought, I know; you want to always be their guardian angel).
Still, even though you shouldn’t smother or mollycoddle your children, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain ways in which you can better keep them safe or, at least, keep them away from dangerous things they might be too young to understand yet. If you’re struggling a bit with how much to wrap your little ones in bubble wrap then here are some pieces of advice and guidance which might help you understand the extent to which you should be keeping your children safe.
This is always a tough one. You encourage your child to make new friends at school but then they make friends with the “naughty” child and you start to fret that this boy or girl might be a bad influence on your child. You’re worried that you might make things worse by interfering because kids are known to do the opposite of what their parents tell them to do. If you tell them they shouldn’t hang around a kid because they’re “bad news” then your child is more likely to want to do so. All you can do is give them the tools and knowledge to guide them towards being a kind, strong, and smart person.
If you guide them in the right direction then they’ll see for themselves which people are real friends and which people aren’t. Kids are growing and changing all the time. Friendship groups are frequently changing. Try not to take control too much when it comes to parties and other gatherings; let them invite whoever they want because it is their big day. When it comes to friends, they’re definitely something to keep your eye on but you shouldn’t go too overboard with this one. Let your child socialize and learn things on their own.
This is a tough one. We live in the digital age, and children understand more about computers and modern technology than the generation which invented those things. It’s natural that your kids are going to gravitate towards the different forms of tech out there and it’s more than likely that the computer-based skills they learn are going to help them with their future career.
Of course, you should still try to make sure they’re safe with the technology they use. The internet opens up many doors of danger for children, so make sure your “stranger danger” lessons apply to computers as well as the real world. You might want to look into getting a safe app for kids so that they stay away from some of the more sketchy ones. There have been many cases of children accidentally spending lots of in-game money even if the app was free…
At the end of the day, as explained throughout this article, the best way to keep your child safe is to teach them how to be safe. You’re not going to be able to watch your kid for every second of their life, especially as they become older and enter their teenage years (they’ll be dying for independence at that point). You need to teach them how to look after themselves so that you can rest assured that they’re smart and safe in the real world. Teach them about strangers, the emergency number, and other basic lessons they’ll need for adult life.