As a parent, your child is your number one responsibility. You have a duty to help them thrive and flourish, while protecting them from any dangers that might arise. And in the modern world, there are plenty of perils for unsuspecting little ones.
One of the biggest risks right now is the internet. Kids are getting online at an increasingly young age, but there are few safety measures in place to keep them safe. The world wide web is home to a great deal of violent and pornographic material that could traumatise a developing mind, and there are numerous predators who see the internet as their very own playground.
When you send your kids off to school, you also have to worry about stranger danger, busy roads, and the looming concerns about sex, alcohol, and drugs when they get older. Being a parent is a full time job, and you have your work cut out for you in the years ahead.
But if you are careful, you can keep your child safe from danger without becoming an overbearing parent. By employing a few protective strategies, you’ll be able to give your little one the freedom they need to explore their environment without having to worry about them coming to any harm. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Teach them about the dangers
A young child probably isn’t aware of many of the dangers facing them, so you have a responsibility to teach them about the world. Talk to them about the risks inherent in using the internet, as well as ways to be safer when crossing roads or out in public. It’s difficult to find the right balance between striking fear into their hearts, and being blasé about the dangers. Make sure you are firm but gentle in your approach.
Limit their online access
At some point, you will have to give your child a phone. They may need internet access for school, and they should be able to get in touch with you when they’re out with friends. But this doesn’t mean giving them unfettered access to the online world. As the bill payer, you are in control of their phone plan. There are many kids’ phones with minimal apps and internet functionality, and you could also put a block on certain websites and searches.
Teach them emergency procedures
No matter how cautious you are, there is always a risk that something could happen to your child or one of their friends. Make sure they know what to do in the event of an emergency. Knowing how to call 911 is the most important piece of information, but you can also supplement this with some basic first aid or kids self defence classes.
Before you let your child go out into the world on their own, you should gradually increase their independence. When you are certain they can be responsible, you can start letting them play within the confines of your street or neighbourhood by themselves. As they grow older, you can slowly increase their freedom until they become completely self-reliant.