We all agree that safety is always a top priority, so we have a tip your family can practice to help your child develop safe habits.
Trust your Intuition
Help your child identify what it is like to have an intuitive feeling and help establish the difference between being aware versus being on guard.
-What is Intuition?
Intuition is a feeling (oftentimes one that you can’t explain) you have about people or places around you. It can be when a certain person or when being at a certain place can make you feel uncomfortable.
-Be aware, but not on guard.
This means we are always aware of our surroundings and aware of what is going on around us, but not fearful. Being on guard all the time is no fun, but most importantly, could work against you. Your intuition won’t work as well and will not be able to tell the difference between real danger and imaginary danger; Your intuition will tell you if there is.
The Safety Zone
Talk to your child about what to do when their intuition feels negative. Their intuition is designed to keep them safe, and they should always trust and listen to it. Teach them how to create a safety zone. A safety zone is having physical space between you and whatever the danger is. This can be distance, or it can be an actual physical object. Imagine a big, mean, barking dog. If it is behind a glass door, you probably aren’t too afraid. If there is no door between you and the dog, you are probably going to be much more scared. The door represents a safety zone.
-Set your Safety Zone.
The rule is if a person who makes you uncomfortable ever approaches you, never let that person get within 3 steps. That is your personal safety zone, and if they get any closer than that, they are within reach to grab or hit you. When that happens, you step back and say “No, back off!” as you place your hands up.
-Leave and Find Help.
If you ever feel uncomfortable with someone, or someplace, you need to leave and ask someone for help.
It’s one thing to talk about a plan, it’s another thing to know your child can follow through with it.
-The first exercise would be establishing a safety zone. Practice having your child identify a safety zone, a perimeter of about 3 steps away from them. Now practice by approaching the edge of their safety zone and direct them to take a big step backward, place their hands up, palms out, about-face level, and loudly yell, “No, back off!” Next, they should leave immediately and go tell a trusted adult.
Practicing as a family will establish your child’s tools and their ability to follow through with this tip to keep them safe if they are ever in danger.
⭐️ Extra tip:
Help your child understand the following phrase “My safety is more important than their feelings.” This means that if you ever feel uncomfortable with someone or someplace, you leave and find help. Even if this means hurting someone else’s feelings. Once again, say “If In Doubt…Get Out, my safety is always more important than someone else’s feelings.” And remember always trust your intuition.