The 21st century has come with its pros and cons. One major challenge posed to parents is the security of their kids. The freedom of information and the rate at which information is readily available coupled with the increasing threat to life poses a great threat to the security of our kids. There is a need to educate the family on general security tips. Children, especially, must be properly tutored on these basic security tips and tricks.
Among the major security threats are these three which, unfortunately, we never pay attention to. Lack of basic knowledge of security tips itself is a security threat in itself. Some other times, the confidence we repose on strangers and friends may be deadly.
Strangers could become sexual predators, thus destroying our young kids. Parents should especially watch out for the kind of friends their kids keep. Keeping the wrong friends could set them on the wrong path right from childhood.
One major way to secure your kids is to always know where your kids are at all times and who they are with. Your kids’ schedule must always be known to you. You must always ensure that they return home promptly at the stipulated time. When, however, there is a change of plan due to unforeseen circumstances, train them to notify you. The other way round, let your children always know your location. and how to get in touch with you at all times, in case of an emergency.
When there is a need to go out, make sure that they do not go alone, but in the company of a trusted adult. This is necessary in case of emergencies that children may not be able to handle. Never in any situation, leave your kids alone, especially when they are young, in a vehicle, restroom, store, playground or other public places. If they must play, then ensure that they do that in an area with full supervision.
When you, however, discover that your kid does not want to be with someone or go somewhere don’t just sweep it under the carpet. Make sure you investigate and find out the reason. It may be more than just a personality conflict or a lack of interest. Something might be amiss.
When you notice that an adult shows an unusual amount of interest in your kid or gives him/her gifts in an abnormal unusual way, be suspicious and keep an eye on such adults. Pedophiles sometimes act in this way to gain the trust and confidence of kids before abusing them.
Try as much as possible to avoid tagging your kids or what they carry in the public. Know what they wear every day and don’t put their names on the outside of their clothing. This could make them easy targets as they are tempted to respond more readily to anyone who calls them by name.
Proper record-keeping is also very important. Keep a record of your children’s friends and if possible their phone numbers. Have a list of important emergency phone numbers always handy in a place where your kids can always access. Phone numbers of your trusted friend, a family member, the family doctor, the family lawyer should be clearly listed there. Also, keep an updated information file of your kids. The information there must contain medical and dental records, identifying marks, height, and other physical characteristics, fingerprints and footprints, pictures, e.t.c.
Ensure you carve out time to attend your kid’s activities once in a while, no matter how tight your schedule may be. When you will be late in picking them up or coming home, try to contact them
Be observant. Be alert for any changes in the behavior of your kids. Watch, and observe to identify if there is anything troubling them. Kids generally, feel uncomfortable in disclosing disturbing events or feelings because they sometimes fear what your reaction may be. Be friendly to them to enable them to open up to you when there is a danger. Encourage them to tell you about anything that makes them uncomfortable, or that scares them or confuses them.
There is also the need to give the older kids a bit of freedom to train them and make them understand safety rules well. Research shows that over-protection of kids many times produces the wrong results. Interact with your kids regularly and talk with them about the newest technology in town. Whilst allowing them freedom, it is also necessary to set clearly defined boundaries for them.