How to teach a child safety
When you voice safety rules to your child, you need to explain to them why this is important. You can achieve his submission by using the phrase: “Because I said so,” but this will not convince the child of the importance of the rule. Try to assure him that the rules are not needed to make his life less joyful, but to make him safe. The more fair and reasonable the rules seem to the child, the more likely that he will accept them and adhere to them.
Do not bully a child. If you do not want the child to climb trees, you should not tell him: “You will fall and turn your neck.” Say better: “You may fall, and you will be hurt.” If you exaggerate a possible danger, this can lead to one of two consequences (or both at once):
the child will cease to trust you. He will not believe you, because he understands: what you say is unlikely;
the child will believe you, but he will grow up with confidence that the world is a terrible place full of dangers.
When a child does not comply with the established rules, you must let him know that his dangerous behavior has consequences. If a child runs out onto the carriageway, you must immediately return him to a safe place, repeat the rule again, explaining his reasons (for example, to say that drivers may not see the child) and warn that this should not be done.
Such a warning should be done only once. If the child is still repeating dangerous behavior, you need to establish strict consequences for him. They should be related to the need to ensure the child’s safety. For example, if he runs out onto the roadway again, it is worth taking him home. Explain to the child the connection between his behavior and consequences: “I warned you that you should not run along the roadway. This is dangerous. If you can’t play outside safely, play at home. ”
When the rules set by you seem fair to the child, and he understands the need for his own safety, he will abide by these rules. He will not obey you in order to please you, but because he will begin to consider your rules as his own.
For the safety of the child, more is needed than just following the rules. The child must trust his own instincts about what is dangerous and what is not. With your help, he needs to develop his inner voice, which will warn him of a possible danger. This voice will deter the child from getting into a car with a stranger, walking in deserted places, etc. Therefore, teach your child to trust instincts. Each time, hearing this inner voice, he must listen to it.
Another way to develop a child’s self-preservation instincts is to rehearse security situations with him. Do it in a playful way. Combine simple problems with more complex ones:
What would you do if a stranger came for you to kindergarten and offered to take you home?
What would you do if your ball rolled out onto the road?
What would you do if you got lost in a supermarket and couldn’t find me?
What would you do when another child fell from a tree?
What would you do if another child sat on the edge of the hill and refused to go down?
What would you do by breaking a glass?
What would you do if your friend suggested you do something dangerous?
If the child is puzzled by your questions, offer him several options to choose from.
A child can give completely unexpected answers, for example: “I will wait until the ball itself comes back to me”; “I will offer the child a candy so that he descends from the hill”, etc.
Do not laugh at such answers of the child. He speaks quite seriously, and his answers correspond to his age. Instead, praise him for his quick wits, suggest a better solution, and next time ask the same question.