How can we encourage independence, while enforcing in our young kids that they need to stick close and not wander off without asking a parent?
Are you worried your child will wander away and lose you? How can you teach your child to stay near you when they’re such a little toddler or preschooler and may not fully understand? We all want to give our kids freedom and foster independence, but it is still very important to teach them safety.
Here are some tips to prevent your child from getting lost.
Give your toddler the liberty to wander. Don’t chase after them and you’ll find they stop to search for you before they get to far. Studies and found that crawling babies always return to their moms even when they’ve crawled around a corner out of sight. Somehow they know when and how to get back, before going too far. Your child will come back to you. However, if you’re always following closely behind, they’ll just keep on going, having learned that you will follow.
Preschool and older, talk to them about the real dangers that are out there. Let them know most adults are kind, but there are a few people in the world that would want to harm them and it’s our job, as their parent, to protect them. We need to know where they are so we can be sure they are safe.
“Most people are very nice. It’s okay to talk to people, but if someone asks for your help or wants you to come with them, whether it’s a grown-up or another kid, you need to ask mom (or whoever the child is with). It’s my job to make sure you’re safe. There are a few people in the world that would want to hurt you or take you away. If I don’t know where you are, how would I ever find you if someone did try to hurt you?”
Ask questions to be sure the child really knows what to do:
Parent asks: What would you do if a friendly man offered you candy?
What if he said to come to his car to get it?
What would you do if a kid asked you to come to her car to help her carry some toys?
What would you do if a nice lady told you to come see a bunch of cute puppies in her home or car?
What would you do if an old man asked you for help opening his car door for him?
Answers should all be:
“Ask mom or a trusted grown up they are with at the time. Never go with anyone, no matter how nice they seem.”
Momma Don’t You Worry
I had the pleasure of reviewing this adorable ebook, Momma Don’t You Worry.
Any mom with young
kids can relate to their growing preschooler or kindergartener showing
their independence and wanting to be on their own more, like a big kid. This short, enjoyable read enforces the concept that though they feel like a big kid, they still need to stick close to their parents while out and about through a sweet rhyming tale.
A 6 year old boy thinks he’s too old to let Mommy hold his hand in public. What will he do when he wanders off and doesn’t see her in the store?