There is nothing more important to a parent than the safety of their child. Of course, as they grow up, it is our parental duty to help them develop their independence. As much as we want to protect them every second of every day, older children need to take those first tentative steps toward self-reliance. When they’re at school, or at football practice, or out with friends, we have to trust they are keeping themselves safe.
Any under-18 is still considered a minor, and it is the adults tasked with caring for them that have to make sure they’re safe. You can’t watch everything they do every second though! Smothering them and wrapping our kids up with bubble wrap simply isn’t the healthy approach to their continued development. But there is plenty you can do safeguard your children. Keeping them safe is about sensibly approaching potential threats.
Online safety is one of the most discussed topics for parents of school-age children. Fortunately, there are companies like National Online Safety that specialise in training adult supervisors and teachers to recognise the dangers of internet use for kids. At home, you can keep internet enabled devices out of the bedroom, and enjoy browsing together as a family. Research demands access to the internet, so plenty of homework projects need it. Sitting together, or at least in the same room, can help you to keep your kids from harm. Don’t forget all those parental controls your internet service provider can offer.
Sports can be quite dangerous, no matter how well trained or how much safety equipment is used. Injuries, bumps, and scrapes are quite commonplace. Serious injuries, thankfully, are not. As a parent, you are able to reduce the risk and impact of any accidents by providing high-quality kit and equipment. There are always those moments when a bit of fun can result in dangerous actions. Let your kids know that safety should come first and that people around them can be hurt if they don’t follow the rules. Kids are sensible. Sometimes they just need a little reminder.
As soon as kids hit double figures, they feel they’re old enough to venture out to the park or the shopping centre alone. This decision is for you to make as the parent. If you’re not happy they will be safe on their own with friends, then say no. Children are quite good at pleading cases, so it can be difficult to stand your ground. Why not offer a compromise? You could go to the shopping centre to do the shopping while they’re browsing with their friends. Or maybe start with a short period of time for them to be out of sight at the park to see how you both get on.
It’s tough to let go sometimes, but these days it’s wise to be cautious and careful. You can’t possibly know they are safe if you’re not there with them. However, a little faith and trust can help remove some of the stress of kids growing up. Talk with your kids about how you can both be happy with a little more independence.