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The Control Aspect In Child Safety

Jul 17, 2008
When we think about the A, B,C's of child safety we often talk about Attitude, Behavior and Control. The "C" of the A,B,C"s is "control."

Control, when it comes to safety for children, is a very good thing. It means that in threatening situations, whatever they may be, the child can control their fear and their responses. When taught the appropriate behaviors to situations, even the smallest of children can do this easily and effortlessly, without thinking about it. Their natural instincts can kick in and they can exit the threats without much conscious effort.

Fear, most fears we learn as kids, are just that, learned behaviors we pick up from parents and other adults that influence us. If you start young, as young as four years of age, and teach them the appropriate responses, fear has no place to take hold and grow.

Kids can learn a calm approach to safety where they are in control. They visually assess a situation as it unfolds and come up with the best thing for them to do. All this takes place in a few seconds. When they decide on a course of action, they act and carry it out. Even the youngest of children can do this.

For example, children can learn the distance that they need to keep from strangers. A fifteen foot "circle of safety" works best for kids. Fifteen feet has no meaning whatsoever to a young child. However, when you show them what that distance is, literally go across the room and show them, they learn it.

When you do this, you'll have to do it several times. Repetition is the key for young children in learning. Several times a week do this. Also relate the size of the distance to things they can key to like, "five giant steps away" or "five frog leaps" over here.

When your child has a good idea of the distance, teach them to stand whenever someone they don't know, a stranger, comes close to that fifteen feet. It is a simple exercise like standing. There is no emotion of fear attached to it. It is a simple "stand" that they can do while still playing.

If the stranger continues to enter their safe circle they can learn to turn and run immediately to a trusted adult for help. They can learn this just like brushing their teeth or grabbing a favorite stuffed animal and hugging it.

This is the simple yet ever-so-effective "control" that should be a part of any safety program for your child.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert, #1 International bestselling author, consultant and speaker. For more inforamtion see The Belly Brain Podcasts and get a free special report "The Essence of the Belly Brain."
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