Home Alone: 4 Valuable Safety Lessons to Teach Your Children
Leaving children home alone is always a trying task for mothers. It requires preparation and planning. Here are some of the valuable safety lessons parents must teach their kids before leaving them alone.
Stranger (& Friend) Danger
Via Flickr by Tachyondecay
Children of all ages must understand that while parents are away, no one should come over to play. This includes the children’s friends, the parents’ friends, and of course, strangers.
While it’s unpleasant to consider, children are most often put in danger by acquaintances. People often think of strangers as the most dangerous, but in fact more kids are kidnapped and harmed by parents’ friends, neighbors, former teachers and others. That’s why it’s of vital importance to train your kids not to open the door to anyone: whether they’re your friends or not, they don’t need to visit while your kids are alone.
Security Familiarity: From Arming to Calling for Help
Children old enough to be left home alone should also be old enough to learn how to use home security systems. From arming the alarm to using it to call for help, kids should learn all of the major features. Practice with your children at night arming the alarm, and then practice letting the kids disarm it in the morning to let the dog out.
Your kids should be very confident in using it when they’re alone. By practicing on a regular basis with you, your kids will learn the system as second nature and be able to use it even when under duress.
Teach your kids the security alarm password, as well as a visitor password. The visitor password could be given to any friend or acquaintance who is sent to pick-up the children in case of emergency. For example, if you are in a car accident and your neighbor is asked to bring the kids to the hospital, they should have a special password to tell the children so that they will open the door.
This might seem over-protective for the average parent. However, your kids are your most valuable treasures and should be treated as such.
Keeping It Locked Down
Your children should know to keep all doors and windows locked while you are away. They should be warned that a cracked window is just as inviting as a wide-open front door. By teaching them this, they can be better prepared to be alone.
Money Matters & Kids
Via Flickr by Monochrome
Even if the kids won’t be ordering a pizza, it’s a good idea to leave them some cash. You never know what kind of issue could come up that will require money, so it’s always a good idea to prepare kids for every possibility. For example, if they are taken to the hospital to visit you after an accident they will need cash for food. Or, they could need money for school the next day if you have to stay out unexpectedly.
Children need to be prepared to be left alone. Similarly, a house needs to be prepared for emergencies by having an alarm system installed. Lastly, ensure that you have a plan for worst case scenarios, so that your children will be protected in every event.