Your gut instinct as a parent might be to constantly hover over your child in order to protect them from anything bad that could potentially happen. But being a “helicopter parent” does little to encourage your child’s independence. In fact, it can discourage your child from doing things on their own. Your child’s safety is extremely important, but there are ways to keep them safe without constantly hovering.
Here are eight ways to keep your child safe without being a helicopter parent:
1. Don’t Write Your Child’s Name On Their Personal Belongings
When the first day of school approaches, many parents label their child’s belongings. But advertising your child’s name is essentially giving strangers access to private information. If you want to make sure your child’s backpack doesn’t get lost, try writing your phone number on it instead.
2. Teach Your Child To Avoid Sharing The Elevator With Strangers
Teach your child not to get into elevators, cars or any other enclosed spaces with strangers, and to always keep their back to the wall while they are waiting alone. That way, they will be able to see anyone who is approaching.
3. Teach Your Child Not To Let Others Know When They Are Home Alone
If you ever run out and leave your child at home for a few minutes, make sure they know not to advertise that you are gone. If a stranger comes to the door, teach them never to open it while they are home alone.
4. Create A Family Password
Creating a family password can help keep your child safe in the event that a stranger approaches them. If someone unfamiliar ever comes to pick them up, make sure your child knows to ask, “What are my parent’s names? What is the family password?”
5. Install A Tracking App On Your Child’s Phone
Consider installing a tracking app on your child’s phone that lets you know where they are at all times. If your child isn’t where they are supposed to be, you know there might be a problem. Check out Life360 Locator OR GPS Phone Tracker.
6. Teach Your Child To Yell If They Are Afraid
If your child ever gets grabbed by a stranger, teach them to be as loud as they possibly can. Let them know that in this situation, it is more than OK to behave “badly.” Teach them to shout, “I don’t know him/her! He/she wants to take me away!” And if you’ve handled temper tantrums, then you’ll know this yelling is serious.
7. Give Your Child An Emergency Button
My Buddy Tag and other companies sell gadgets with emergency buttons built in. You can buy your child a watch, a key chain, a necklace or bracelet to help ensure their safety. The gadgets also track your child’s location. If your child presses the emergency button, the signal is received by the parents or the police.
8. Teach Your Child To Run From Cars In The Opposite Direction
Teaching your child not to get into a car with strangers is important. It’s also important to teach your child what to do if a car pulls up near them or starts to follow them. Make sure they know to run quickly in the opposite direction that the car is moving while they call for help.