Host: How can parents discuss child safety with their children?
Nancy McBride: The advice I have for parents or guardians who wants to sit down with their kids and discuss child safety is to do so in a very calm and reassuring way. Sit down with your kids reassure them that you are there for them, no matter what happens, they can always come to you and talk to you about anything and never use fear as a motivational or teaching tool. Kids live in the world, they know it is a scary place, they hear people talking, they might see the news, they may even know about an event that happened in your community concerning another child. Listen to your kids if they ask you questions about that event or about that child, be as open as you can depending on their age and developmental level, but remember not to be graphic, do not frighten them more because they are already scared.
So, our job as the adults in a Child s life is to assure them that we will be there for them to help keep them safer. Once you have done that, take an opportunity to practice what you teach with your kids, setup some What If scenarios such as What if somebody came up to you and said will you help you me find my puppy, what if somebody was in a car and they stopped and asked you to come closer because they need a direction somewhere. See how your kids will to respond to these real life situations. So, that you as parent or guardian can be assured that your child will know what to do if they are confronted with these situations in the real world and that you are not just lecturing them or talking to them that they have incorporated it into their daily life.