Host: What are some ways parents can help their child learn about a new neighborhood?
Nancy McBride: If you have moved during the summer which many parents and guardians do and families do, there are things you can do in the neighborhood to make your child feel more comfortable, make your child feel more aware. My favorite recommendation is to take a walking tour of the neighborhood, pointing out some landmarks, pointing out some different places your child could go if they needed help, pointing out where they can and can not go. For example, which paths are safe to take? How a child should not take short cuts in the neighborhood? Just different locations and landmarks that your child can look for, if they ever feel lost or they feel like they need to get their grip and figure out how to get back home.
One of the things you can also do is draw a map with your child, sit down and actually draw a map of the neighborhood, talk about the landmarks, talk about safe places to go and talk about the routes your child may take where they are riding their bike or walking around the neighborhood. It is also a good time in the summer, to locate your school, maybe take your child there to just get a look at the school, see what it is like, see how it is laid out, so that when they go to school, it won t be such a mystery to them, they will have actually seen it and talk about how your child is going to be getting to school. If there are parks in your neighborhood, certainly point those out and set the rules and guidelines by which your child can actually go to the park, whether it s with you, the trusted adult or maybe it is their siblings or their friends, talk about that with your kids, so that it is all understood and everybody understands why these guidelines were put into place.