Saturday, May 24, 2008

Safety Saturdays (#14) - National Missing Children's Day

You can make a difference in a child's life.
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Talk to a child about safety. Take 25 is a program by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children developed to encourage parents, guardians, and other role models to spend time talking to kids to teach them ways to be safer. Click on the Take 25 button to learn more about risks children face and to find tools to teach them safety concepts, build their confidence and reassure them. Take 25's Conversation Starters page lists questions grouped by age (5-8, 9-12, and 13-17) to assist you in beginning discussions about safety online and offline. The site also has activity ideas and the discussion guidelines listed below:
  • Be Prepared - Spend some time reviewing safety information before you communicate it to your children. That way, you’ll be better able to talk about the topic in a calm, reassuring manner.
  • Consider your child’s age - Gear discussions to your child’s level, taking into account their age and understanding. For instance, a typical four-year-old won’t sit through long explanations or retain a lot of information, so simple visuals and activities can be useful in capturing their interest.
  • Seize opportunities - Instead of waiting for “the right time” to talk to kids, make the most of everyday moments. A relaxed family meal provides the perfect opportunity to get kids to tune into safety messages, especially when favorite foods are on the menu. A car ride to school offers another great chance to talk to kids about safety.
  • Be open - Encourage your children to talk openly about their questions and worries. Let them know you care about what happens to them by setting clear rules, but try not to lecture or criticize.
  • Have fun - Child safety is a serious subject, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an enjoyable time talking about it with your kids. Sing songs, tell stories, play games and interact with your kids in a way that makes them feel safe and loved. You’ll also help reinforce the message if you’re consistent in your approach.

Resources for additional information:

  • Take 25 Safety Tips Poster -Download a list of 25 ways to make kids safer at home, on the net, going to and from school, and out and about.
  • NetSmartz411 is parents' and guardians' premier, online resource for answering questions about Internet safety, computers, and the Web. You can search their library for information or ask the experts a question.
  • NetSmartz Workshop provides on- and offline learning activities for parents to facilitate discussions with their children and teens about Internet safety, including a blog about internet safety.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is a particular topic that you would like to see covered in a future post. (If you are not familiar with blogging, you can still leave a comment below. Just click the anonymous button and type your comment in the text box provided.) Check out all the Safety Saturdays posts for more safety tips. (This is a scheduled post. I am out of the country with limited internet access through May 30. I may have to wait to respond to questions and comments until I return.)

1 comment:

Kelsey Smith said...

Great post it came to us with Great timing thank yoU!