What Kids Need: Safety

Every child has the right to feel safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.  It is a basic human need for all of us, but for kids, it is something that we, as parents and adults need to ensure for them.  It seems pretty basic to say this, but kids are very nervous about noises, strangers, neighbors, and nearly everything unusual.  It is way too easy to say, ” That’s the way life is now” or “Things have changed.”  Although there may be a degree of truth to those cliche’s, they are far too familiar and do not drive the conversation forward.  Stephen R. Covey in his landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People tells a story about a couple that went to rent a car just before the rental company was about to close for the evening.  As they completed the paperwork and received the keys for their rental car, the driver asked if they had a map of the area that they could use.  The agent handed them a map, and as the driver looked at it, she realized that it wasn’t for that particular town, but another city.  She asked the agent again if he had a map of this city.  He replied that, that map was all he had and that it was late, and wished them luck, telling them they would be fine.

Somehow none of that is helpful, just like cliche statements.  When we use cliche’s, we are in effect saying that we accept the current state of fear in our country and that everyone else should deal with it.  But these are kids I argue!  Kids need to feel safe in all places that they live their lives.  Parents can help kids with this by ensuring the processes for emergencies are known and practiced. By paying attention to routes for travel and when to go and where to go in times of disasters, we increase our chances of surviving times of trouble.  But, beyond that, the safety of our kids is all our jobs.  We should always be on the lookout for kids, regardless of their age, when we are out and about.  Crossing streets, in times of emergencies, being willing to shepherd them to a safe place or to help protect them.

When kids lack safety in their lives, it damages their self-confidence, their self-esteem and dramatically affects their general well-being.  I want to call for everyone to be on the lookout every day for our kids of all ages, helping them to be safe, helping them in times of emergency, and being willing to protect them always.  When they grow-up healthy, then they can healthily perform in this world.  After all, they are the ones that will someday be taking care of us.

Yours for Better Parenting,

Rich