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The Second Secret To Keeping Your Child Safe

May 21, 2008
Empowering your child to take care of themselves is one of the most powerful Safety Secret we can offer you.

Empowerment means you teach them to make choices, good choices, for themselves. When you mentor them as a parent you actually guide them into learning to make good, positive choices for themselves on their own. When they can do this, they will truly be safe for a lifetime.

If your child never gets to decide much of anything for themselves, even at the youngest of ages, how do you think they could learn to choose the better action of whether to get in a car with someone they barely know for a ride home or to go find a trusted adult?

In its simplest form, empowerment means your child feels like they have a measure of control over their life. They feel they can make their own decisions. Most kids don't feel this ability. Most kids do not have it, either. Parents and adults are constantly making decisions for children:

-When to eat
-What to eat
-When to get up
-When to go to sleep
-Where to go
-Who to go with
-What to do

The list can go on endlessly. Life for a child can feel completely out of their control. Kids will engage in a struggle with their parents to get some control of their lives. In doing so it usually comes across as conflict.

-No! I don't want to go!
-I don't like that!
-I'm not eating that!
-Stop it!
-I don't want to!
-Leave me alone!

The Secret to empowering your child, even at the youngest of ages, is in giving them their own choices to make. Give them alternatives to situations in their lives, let them make some of their own choices.

This too, can be pretty simple. For example, instead of serving them broccoli, ask them to choose between carrots, peas or broccoli or another vegetable. Give them a choice to make instead of just putting one on their plate. Instead of the green dress, ask your daughter which one she would like to wear. Instead of forcing your child into the brown shoes, ask them which ones they would like to put on today.

These are pretty simple examples, but this about as easy as it gets in empowering your child. Giving your child choices is crucial in their development. It is crucial in their ability to keep themselves safe, too.

Making choices matters to kids. When you do this simple, easy thing, miracles will happen within them. An empowered child starts to feel good about themselves. And what would consistent, good feelings about themselves lead to?

Confidence!

Will your child always make good choices for themselves? No. That is where you, Mom and Dad, come into the picture. You, as a mentor to your child, can guide them through the array of choices they will face. You can guide them and teach them about good choices and the benefits of making good choices for themselves. It is what safe kids are all about.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert, #1 bestselling author, consultant, speaker and trainer. For her extensive website and information see Keeping Kids Safe.
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