When moving to a new neighborhood, it’s important to keep safety in mind. If you’re able to bring your kids into your safety strategies, it’ll make those strategies even more effective. Your best option for keeping your kids safe, regardless of your kids’ ages, is to make sure your kids know how to keep themselves safe as well. These tips will help you keep your whole family safe.
Set Up a No-Questions-Asked Code
One reason some kids don’t call parents when they find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation is that they don’t want to face their parents’ wrath if that situation includes bad choices. The best way to avoid that and make sure your kids call you if they need help is to set up a no-questions-asked option where your child can call on you for help at any time.
The way this works is you set up a specific thing your child can text you. It may be a specific emoji or letter. When your child texts you that symbol, you call them and let them know you’re going to pick them up for a made-up reason; for example, you found out they hadn’t finished all their homework. If your child wants to let you know what happened, they can, but otherwise, you’re getting them out of a potentially-dangerous situation, which is good parenting all on its own.
Talk to Your Kids About What Constitutes an Inappropriate Situation
This is especially helpful for young kids who might not know how to identify an inappropriate situation in the first place. Educating kids about “bad touch” areas of the body and helping them identify potentially unsafe situations is a good way to make sure your kids don’t stay in a dangerous situation, which can expose them to further dangers.
It can be difficult to have this conversation with your kids, but it’s important. Have these conversations at age-appropriate levels; for example, you may want to help your toddlers understand “bad touch” while giving your teens tools they need to avoid being pressured into underage drinking. Always keep that conversation open, so they can ask you for more information when they need it.
Vet Neighbors Before You Visit Them
Obviously, you want to make sure your kids have friends in the neighborhood. However, it’s not enough to just meet neighbors in person before you let your kids visit. You should have an extra layer of protection in place to really know your neighbors before you let your kids go over on their own, and a public search engine can help.
With a public search engine like PeopleFinders, you can more easily understand a person’s whole backstory before you actually let your kids go over to that person’s house alone. Public search engines can make it easier to get someone’s criminal history, which can include domestic violence and other criminal information. That way, you can feel more comfortable letting your kids visit that home without supervision.
There are plenty of ways to invite your kids into the safety net you’re building for your family in a new neighborhood. If you’re interested in making sure your kids stay safe, it’s important to use all the tools at your disposal, and that includes your kids themselves. When you’re creating a safety plan for a new neighborhood, it’s important to pay attention to how your kids can help.