Are you a single mother or working mom? Do both parents in your household work in order to make ends meet? If so you are in the majority, as most American families are either dual income or single parent households. Unfortunately, the cost of living in society today forces most into this situation in order to provide for their children and loved ones. Working parents share the anxiety, frustration, and fear of having to leave their children alone or on their own when school is out, when childcare arrangements fall through, or you don't have any other alternative.
Many of you know this feeling all to well; you can either spend your time worried and concerned or you can make a commitment to ensure your children are ready to care for themselves. Believe it or not teaching your kids basic safety rules will go a long way. Having a weekly written plan can be extremely helpful, first you will know exactly where your kids are supposed to be at each point throughout the day, more importantly it lets your children know where they are SUPPOSED to be at each point in the day.
Answer the following question, "Are your children ready to be left alone safely?" Do you know the answer? Most parents don't so here are things you should consider.
Can you trust them to go straight home after school?
Are they alright to stay at home alone without being scared or afraid?
Do they know emergency numbers and how to use the telephone to call for help?
Can you be counted on to consistently lock doors and windows?
What if someone unexpectedly showed up knocking at the front door, would they know how to handle this?
It is your job and responsibility to find out; you can't afford to assume one way or the other. If you determine that your child is not ready to be on their own, then you have to make some very serious decisions. If you determine that staying home long-term is not an option, then you need to begin preparing your children right away.
The most important thing you can do is talk to them, and listen to their concerns, fears, and worries. Work out rules on having friends over, household chores, homework, television, etc. Remember that staying home alone can be extremely stressful and scary for kids who are not ready; on the other hand if you will commit to teaching your children basic rules, staying at home can be a positive that will build a child's self esteem, practical skills, and sense of responsibility.
Basic Safety and Security Rules You Should Teach Children
How to call 911 and other emergency numbers should their personal security or safety become an issue
How to give directions to your house or where you are in case of an emergency situation
The importance of checking in with you or someone at predefined times throughout the days
How to handle offers of gifts or rides from strangers or people you have not approved of
How to arm and disarm an alarm system; lock and unlock doors and windows if necessary
To not allow anyone into the home unless you have approved it first
How to safely exist the home in case of fire
To use basic awareness skills to determine if things look right prior to entering a home or apartment.
That you are there for them always and that you need to know about anything that frightens them or make them feel uncomfortable.
We hope this helps to keep your children safe and prevent some of the horrific crimes that are committed against our innocent children each and everyday.