4 Ways to Teach Your Kids Solid Safety Habits Around the House

Family Organization, Parenting | Thursday, August 16th, 2018

As a parent, it goes without saying that you want your kiddos to be safe and secure at all times. While the onus of this responsibility has probably fallen on you over the years — things like checking to be sure the doors are locked at night, installing security camera systems and more — now that your kids are older, they are ready to adopt a safety-conscious mindset.

Fortunately, getting your children to be more safety minded is not difficult. Here’s how to get them started.

Teach them about the home security cameras

Up until now, if the security camera systems you have installed at your home were indicating an issue or an alarm was sounding, you were probably the one to deal with it. But tweens and teens can also be taught how to watch the outside security cameras and what to do if an alarm is tripped — especially if you are away for the evening. For example, if you have wire-free home surveillance systems, show your children where each device is mounted outside, and teach them how to arm and disarm the system. Also, talk to your kids about the bells and whistles of your surveillance system and how each one works. Have them stay inside the house while you go outside and walk around where the cameras can see you — this way your kids will be familiar with what the security camera systems’ footage will look like. Then, explain what to do if an alarm is tripped, what to do when the police arrive and how they can check the footage to see what set it off.

Make rules about the phone

As Scholastic notes, if your kiddos are going to be spending some time alone, make the landline phone off-limits, at least most of the time. Your kids don’t need to answer the phone every time it rings — if you have caller ID, they should not pick up the line unless they see Grandma’s name and number or a trusted neighbor. Assure your kids that if calls go to voicemail that is perfectly fine; you will deal with calling people back when you are home. If they have their own smartphones, you can set the same rules regarding ignoring unknown numbers.

Be clear about what is off limits

Many kids are natural-born lawyers and will sometimes look for loopholes in your rules to get into mischief while you are away. As Babble notes, it is important that they know about and respect which items you have in the home that are dangerous, and that these things are 100 percent off limits when you are not home. Make it abundantly clear that matches, most knives, toxic cleaning solutions and weapons of any kind are not toys and should be left alone. If you have any concerns that they might be tempted to check out any dangerous stuff while you are gone, invest in a safe and lock these things away.

Teach them the habit of locking doors right away

Instead of walking around at bedtime to check that the doors are locked, this should ideally be done the moment you enter your home. Instruct your kiddos that when they let themselves into the house after school, they should immediately bolt the door. The same goes for windows and sliding glass doors; if they are opened for any reason, they are locked the instant they are closed up again.

Be sure to set a good example yourself

Like many things in parent life, if you abide by your own rules, your kids are more likely to follow suit. By teaching them how to monitor and use the home security cameras and being careful to activate the system yourself, respecting any dangerous items in the home and locking doors the second you come into the house, you can rest assured that your kiddos will adopt these same security habits.

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