The Rest of the Story!

by Dr Peggy on July 3, 2012

Here are the rest of the tips – with a little twist from us…..

REVIEW the rules with your children about whose homes they may visit and discuss the boundaries of where they may and may not go in the neighborhood. (NCMEC Post)

This is a bit like herding cats. If you have ever tried to get a cat to go where you want him or her to go and not where you don’t – then you know exactly what I mean. And trying to convince your kids and teens that you know more about where they should or shouldn’t go is like herding cats. They will always slip in between the boundaries and make their way where you prefer they not be.

That said, it’s also important to be very clear about the differences families face talking about his particular tip. Do you live in the city? Do you live in the country? Do you teens have to drive wherever they go? Can they walk to the store? So the point is, we can’t answer all those questions for you. This tip is really saying – ASK the questions yourself and make sure you and your child have talked about the answers. Whatever they are, GET CLEAR! Review the rules and don’t assume that your child or teen knows what they are. And most importantly, don’t assume they remember – or will admit that they remember. Review the rules.

TEACH your children in whose vehicle they may ride. Children should be cautioned to never approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless accompanied by a parent or other trusted adult.

If you child is a teen – that is pretty much NO One’s vehicle! OK, so that is probably a little extreme, but please remember these statistics: for a 17-year-old driver, fatal accident risk goes up 48 percent with one young passenger, doubles with two and triples with three or more.

CHOOSE babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Many states now have registries for public access to check criminal history or sex-offender status. Observe the babysitter’s interaction with your children, and ask your children how they feel about the babysitter. This, of course, assumes you can find a babysitter anymore that doesn’t charge enough to send you to bankruptcy.

CHECK out camp and other summer programs before enrolling your children. See if a background screening check is completed on the individuals working with the children. Make sure there will be adult supervision of your children at all times, and make sure you are made aware of all activities and field trips offered by the camp or program.

There are wonderful summer camp and other summer programs for kids. But more kids need them than we have resources available. Look carefully, of course. Volunteer, participate, get involved with your child. You can both benefit from the summer camp experience.

DON’T drop your children off at malls, movies, video arcades or parks as these are not safe places for children to be alone. Make sure a responsible adult is supervising younger children any time they are outside or away from home.

If the realities of child sexual abuse have taught us anything, they should have taught us this one. It can seem so easy, an opportunity to run those errands you have been trying to get finished. Whatever errand and however obnoxious your child may be as he or she rides along – grin and bear it. Try playing car/store games. There are some really good ones and here are some ideas.

BE SURE your children know their curfew and that they check in with you if they are going to be late. If children are playing outside after dark, make sure they wear reflective clothing and stay close to home.

Don’t fight – just enforce.

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