My boys are getting to the age where I am becoming happy to leave one of them at home for five minutes when I drop the other off somewhere or have to run a quick errand.
Now this is our family decision and I am not writing this for people to comment on whether it is right or wrong, but I do want to discuss the way we talked to the children about safety without scaring them, but enough to ensure that they follow the rules to ensure they protect themselves and also protect our home.
Teaching children about safety without scaring them
Safety rules for children when they are home alone
- The rules are different when I am with an adult to when I am at home alone.
- When home alone the door must be locked, keep windows shut and do not answer the door unless it is a policeman or an agreed person.
- Never disclose that you are home alone.
- I do not use the cooker, microwave of kettle when home alone.
- I can call my mum or dad on their mobile at any time – we have the numbers wrote on a chalkboard, along with the police, fire, my best friend, grandparents and families numbers.
- Instead of focussing on any bad thing that might happen we practice and teach how to deal and react to things. I choose to focus on the behaviours I want my children to display.
- I know that the boys know what to do if the unexpected happens. We have discussed and practiced what to do if there is a fire, a first aid emergency, a gas leak etc and they have both also covered it in Cubs to.
Safety rules for children when they are on their own outside
- Remember strangers are people I do not know and they can look like anybody. People are generally good, which means strangers are generally good people.
- I do not give out personal information to strangers.
- It is OK to get help from a stranger, but first choose a policeman or official if not choose a mum with children.
- Stay with the group of people that they are with.
- Before they boys were allowed outside on their own, we ensured that they knew what to do if there was an accident or they felt unwell.
- I made sure that the boys were competent at crossing the road.
- Except for health, no one should touch me in my private areas (the parts of the body covered by a bathing suit).
- No one should ask me to touch them in their private areas and if they do I will tell my parents.