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"B" Is For Behavior In Child Safety

Jul 8, 2008
In the A, B, C's of child safety, "B" is for behavior. Behavior. If there ever is a bad "B word" when it comes to raising kids, it could just be "Behavior." Thinking about controlling the behavior of even the youngest child can be a daunting task for a parent. It becomes much easier if you think about controlling behavior in terms of teaching your child the appropriate response to life's situations.

It's the same in child safety.

With even the youngest of children, you can teach them the appropriate responses to threatening situations. They can learn to behave in certain ways that keep themselves safer whenever something occurs that requires a response.

Small and very young children are not going to find themselves alone very much, if at all. Parents are around and protecting them most of the time, all hours of the day. Teaching your child the right response, the right things to do can and should happen before they actually need to use those skills.

What would those behaviors be?

One, learning to listen to their gut instincts, their Belly Brain is huge. The natural instincts to protecting oneself in all threatening situations is critical in anyone's safety, including very young children.

Learning to rely on Mom and Dad from the youngest of ages is a natural thing. It is the nature of this relationship that can keep your child safer or less safe depending on how you handle it and present this relationship of "reliability."

Being a calm adult with very good listening skills is the basis of this reliable relationship. Being a parent in a safe-child relationship means that you are the rock-solid "go-to" person. It means that whatever and whenever your child needs to talk to you about what is in their gut, what they feel you will need to quietly and calmly listen to it.

The next thing your child needs to learn is to keep a healthy distance from strangers. To do that, they need to first know who a stranger is. A stranger is simply someone you don't know very well. Teaching a young child the differences in strangers is too complicated. Forget good or bad strangers, just keep it simple.

Knowing someone well means that they know your family, have meals with you, know details about your dog, car and home. They might also have a very good relationship with every member of your family.

Keeping a safe distance from strangers is a third behavior your child can learn in order to keep themselves safe. A distance of a bout 15 feet is recommended for small children. This is for people on the sidewalk, in the park or anywhere you child may be playing where they are not holding our hand.

Safety, especially for younger kids, comes in learning the best behaviors for the appropriate situations.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert, #1 bestselling author, consultant speaker and trainer. For more on the Belly Brain of Safety see The Belly Brain Podcasts.
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