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The Fourth Secret to Safe Kids

May 30, 2008
There are 5 secrets we have learned that truly make kids safe. These Secrets set the foundation of real safety for a lifetime in children, and can do the same for your child. These secrets will also surprise you. They work quietly and effectively beneath the surface of your child's brain. If you use one or better yeat, all of these 5 secrets, they will make any safety technique that much more effective. Without these 5 secrets, your child will never be able to keep themselves safe. Ever.

The first four secrets are confidence, empowerment, positive praise (what we call "catch them being good") and now, Secret Number 4: Listening. Listening is another crucial "Secret" in teaching kids to be safe. "Listening" means you actually let them know you are listening to them.

Listening to your child goes beyond the standard,"Yep. Un huh. Sure." These kinds of responses they get daily. True listening, the kind that allows your child to feel like they are really being heard and understood, is a special parenting skill.

Listening to your child happens in two ways: one, you allow them to say what they need to say, in their words, in their way, however they want to say it. It may be challenging to follow this advice, especially when your child speaks in disjointed sentences or jumbled words. They may take 5 or 10 minutes out of your busy day, but just let them talk without interrupting them. You can tell when it is important versus when they are just mumbling or making noise. Sit and listen to them. Take the time, make the time.

Two, listen to what they say without judgment. Even if you do not like what you hear, even if you feel upset by what you hear, listen to it. Be quiet, look them in the eyes with your full attention and simply listen to them.

Your child is coming to you. They need your attention. They believe at that moment you will listen to them. Do it. Reserve judgment and negative feelings about what they are saying for another time.

When you do this you are building on the future, on your child's safety. They need to feel, deep inside, they can tell you about anything. They need the security of knowing you will listen to them and what they have to say. If your child is threatened in any way, they will need to come to you, Mom or Dad, and tell you. That rapport and comfort for them needs to be established at a young age. You start by simply listening to them.
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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