What could be worse than being unsafe in your own neighborhood? Is Will moving to another place to end your worries? Will your child be less vulnerable if you build your home somewhere else?
Fear is an option. And running away from danger does not really make it go away. It won’t be healthy for your child to grow up and see you constantly fleeing at the first sight of danger. Of course, it does not mean that you ignore it and meet it head-on. But it would benefit your child more if you teach him to conquer his fears and look out for himself.
Your neighborhood wasn’t handpicked to be the most unsafe place in the world. Basically, all places have bad guys. Just as every basket has its share of bad apples. But it would be unfair to paint an ugly picture of the world to your child. Child safety in the neighborhood does not include making your child live in fear that the bad guys are lurking in every corner. Instead, let them see their potentials in warding off any harm that may come their way.
Child safety in the neighborhood can be effective if parents teach their children to open up and talk freely about their activities. You should be able to motivate them to share anything that they want to tell you. Most abduction or child exploitation cases happen because of the absence of parent and child communication. Children involved were found out to have kept their fears and confusion from their parents, making them more vulnerable to these “attacks”.
Parents should make it a point to be aware of their children’s activities. Child safety in the neighborhood includes knowing their friends and their friends’ families as well. If you value independence, make sure there are limits to it. Do not allow your child to play all by himself in the front yard or any place far from your sight. Make sure that he is in the company of his friends or with an adult when waiting for the bus or walking on the streets. Child safety in the neighborhood means teaching him the emergency phone numbers in case he senses trouble. Most people use the slogan “stranger danger” to their children. However, don’t let them get away with the idea that all strangers have bad intentions because most abduction and exploitation cases were done by people that the kids are familiar with.
There isn’t really a 100% safe place for our children. No matter how we child-proof our homes or secure them from any threats in the neighborhood, some things may happen that wouldn’t be much to our liking. You can’t change how the bad guys think, but you can help your child avoid being an easy target.