Host: What are some important rules children should follow?
Nancy McBride: Well, in the summer time, we need to set some rules and guidelines for our kids to follow. If they are home alone, we need to make sure they understand not to open the door for people they do not know, not to answer the phone unless you have taught them it is okay to do so and what the rules are for whether or not they can play outside. We also need to teach kids that if they are outside they need to check in on a regular basis with their parent or guardian or trusted adult, we need to set some parameters on where they can go in the neighborhood, if they are allowed to go down the street and play with the neighbor, they should check in once they get there, so you know everything is okay.
If they are riding their bicycle around during the summer, make sure there is a time limit by which they check in with you, just say, Hey, everything is fine, I am riding my bike. Make sure that if kids were allowed to play outside after dark that they have reflectors on and that you set rules for where they can go in the neighborhood and with whom they can play. We also need to make sure that kids know which houses they can go into in the neighborhood and that they are very aware that just because somebody asked them to come into the home and do something or have a snack, then unless they have asked permission of you, the parent or guardian or trusted adult, they are not to do that and many parents or guardians have a routine in place for their kids during the summer, of when they should be calling in, where they can be, what they can be doing, if they are in the house, are you allowing them to watch television, do you allow them to use the computer while you are not there. These are all things that need to be discussed with your child before hand, so you make sure that they understand what the rules are.