You want your children to grow and develop; you don’t want your children to be harmed by some things they are undoubtedly going to encounter. Unfamiliar dogs, pools (or any large body of water), and even the dangers of the internet are all hazards to your children until (and unless) you teach them the necessary skills to help them through those inevitable encounters.
Many children love dogs, but when you don’t know the dog, extra caution is needed. You don’t know if it’s unfriendly, and you don’t know what their dog’s training is like. To prevent your child from developing an inherent fear of dogs, make sure you emphasize respect and appreciation of all animals! Animals are very intuitive with the emotions of people around them, so if your child is uneasy around the dog the dog is more likely to become uneasy around the child. Teach your child to give dogs their space, to not attempt interaction especially if the owner is not around, and to even ignore the dog and calmly walk away from dogs that may look threatening or angry.
Pools are fun, but they’re called an attractive nuisance for a reason. They can be dangerous areas for children, especially when unsupervised. The leading cause of death among US youth is drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Make swimming a priority skill for your child to learn as early as possible! Invest in lessons that will prepare your child for emergencies in and around pools. Encourage caution and safety measures that will prevent accidents at all, like staying away from canals and wearing life jackets on boats or around rivers and lakes.
Unfortunately, even the internet has become a dangerous place for kids. Unsavory websites pervade even the most innocent of searches. Predators take advantage of anonymous gaming site chatrooms to connect with naïve children. Bullying is an easy activity with screens as buffers. Your software may even be at risk of viruses disguised as exciting downloads, asking for your child to click. Because computers are such a core element of society today, you must teach your children how to stay safe from these things they are sure to come across! Foster a feeling of open trust and communication so they feel safe coming to you for help. Warn them to not click anything they are not familiar with, and to check with you before clicking things they are unsure of!
Teach your children to be aware, careful, and to communicate with you. Keep them safe while allowing them to enjoy the exploration that comes with childhood!
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