Whether its exploring a new swimming spot, racing bikes around the park or wandering to the dairy for an ice block, summer holidays offer our kids wonderful opportunities for freedom and fun. And while some age-and-stage-appropriate independence can be a good thing, parents everywhere soon start thinking about safety. Which is also a good thing – a very good thing! Our precious tamariki need our help to stay safe and make good choices.
Some constructive conversations can be just the ticket to get our kids thinking about danger within the safety of a hypothetical situation. Chatting openly (and calmly!) about potentially dangerous stuff provides a child the chance to store up for themselves some risk-management skills. Basically, good talks now can lead to good thinking down the track. So how do we talk to our kids about safety?
We find the balance, because there’s a tension here. We don’t want to frighten our kids with all the awfulness in the world. Anxiety isn’t good for them. They don’t need to be burdened with details of all the worst-case scenarios our over-active parenting brains can come up with, but some awareness of risk and danger is helpful.