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    Helping Your Teen Get Organized

    By Bonnie Conrad     

    One of the great things about children is that they are always learning, whether you think you are teaching or not. What you say by your actions can reveal just as much to the child as the words you use, and when it comes to teaching safety actions truly do speak louder than words.

    It is important, therefore for every parent to set a good example when it comes to safety, both in the home and outside. If children see the adults in their lives do dangerous things, like pulling a hot pot off the stove without a potholder, or crossing the street against the light, they will naturally try to mimic that behavior. All the safety lessons in the world may not be enough to undue that type of inadvertent safety lesson.

    It is important for parents to begin teaching their children about safety as early as practical. There are many simple lessons parents can teach in a fun way, and it is important to keep the child’s sometimes limited attention span in mind when teaching these lessons. Short safety lessons, repeated often, will generally be more effective than a longer safety lecture. Children of all ages should also be encouraged to keep an open line of communication with parents and others in their lives. This open line of communication will be critically important, especially as the children get older and begin to face more grown up safety challenges.

    Parents of younger children, of course, have a great deal more latitude and control when it comes to controlling their children’s environment and teaching valuable safety lessons. Those parents still have the freedom to take the child’s hand when crossing the street or getting on the bus, and it is important to use those hands on lessons as teaching opportunities.

    Children should be taught, for instance, what traffic lights are for and what they mean. They should also be taught never to cross against the light or enter the crosswalk when vehicles are present. These safety lessons will be very valuable when it is time for the child to make his or her first solo trip to school.

    Those children should also be given a list of important emergency numbers and shown how to contact those resources. In addition to the obvious advice to call 911 in the event of a fire, burglary or other emergency, children should be given the number for poison control, to be used in the event of an accidental poisoning or suspected poisoning.

    Throughout all these lessons, it is important for parents to be consistent and firm in their teaching. Reinforcing the safety lessons taught, in deed as well as word, is one of the best ways to raise confident, bold and safety conscious children.

    Written by Bonnie ConradRate this article:

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