Today’s world can be dangerous for our children to navigate through and as parents, part of your job is to prepare and keep them safe from harm. We want to help you be certain that your kids feel safe, ask questions, trust their feelings, and grow in a variety of ways and settings. We want to empower parents to feel like they can be proactive and promote safety. Our Mentors work with you and your family to make sure you feel confident in protecting your child(ren) and have the resources necessary to do this as well. As parents/guardians, you need to be aware of where they are and what they are doing while you are at work, cooking, sleeping, or out running errands. Children need to be supervised at all times. If you cannot watch them, ensure they have adequate supervision. Do not let your children play in unsafe places or without adult supervision.
Knowing where your child is and with whom is critical in keeping your child safe. If you are leaving your child with a new babysitter, make sure you meet the babysitter (and their family if possible), get references from other parents, invite the person over to observe how they care for your child. Never leave your child with someone if you do not feel 100% sure your child will be treated with respect and will not be harmed. DO NOT leave your child with a girl/boyfriend or anyone else who has a drug and/or alcohol problem. Children need caring, stable, and reliable people as caregivers.
When children are at school they are around many different adults and other children. A few things you can do to keep your child safe is to meet your child’s schoolteachers and administrative staff. Make it a policy that your child is never alone with an adult. Check to see if your school has an anti-bully policy in place. Remember there is safety in numbers. Have your child buddy up. If walking to and from school is necessary, make sure your child walks with others on main, well-lit, and populated streets. Talk to your child about their day and let them know they can talk to you about anything. Unwillingness to talk about the session or not wanting to go back could be a sign that something is not right.
If your child encounters a stranger, we want to teach your child that under no circumstances are they to go anywhere with people they do not know. Create a password between you and your child. This password is used in emergencies. If a stranger says to your child that her parents have been hurt and s/he must come with them, have your child ask for the password. If the stranger cannot give the password, your child is not to go along but run away, start screaming, use the cell phone to check with you or to run to another adult they know.
Create open discussion with your children about the issues of safety, based on their ages and stages of development. At CCSN, we can help you find a balance between keeping your children safe and not creating fear. We will work with you to create positive messages you can give your children about their right to feel and be safe. There are a range of topics and scenarios that our Mentors can go over with you, so you have a plan and are comfortable communicating with your child. Remember to keep the lines of communication open between you and your child. We want your children to talk about these issues in an open and honest way so that we can develop their strength in different situations while keeping them safe as parents.