Make sure your kids have a plan if they’re ever lost or separated – Just in case.
Summer is here, and that might take your family to unfamiliar locations like amusement parks, fairs, and airports. The thought of getting lost can be scary. Most kids have been told not to talk to strangers and probably wouldn't have any idea what to do if they were lost or separated from their family. It will probably never happen, but it's good to have a plan just in case, whether it's summertime or any time!
If your child is lost or needs help for some reason, they should ask someone for help. The question is, who?
Let's assume there are lots of grownups around, but they don't know any of them, and there are no police officers to be seen. Who should they ask?
The first choice would be a mom with kids.
The second choice should be someone that looks like a grandma.
The third choice would be someone in a uniform (mailman, UPS driver, etc).
The fourth choice would be a person working.
Someone that looks like a grandma or mom with kids are our top choices because they have what is called “Maternal Intuition,” which means moms and grandmas usually care a lot about kids and would want to help. A person in a uniform or a person who is working is a good choice because they are probably responsible and likely to be willing to help. Teach your kids that if they are lost or need help, they should never go with someone who approaches them, especially if they make them feel scared or afraid.
For very young children, place your cell number on their clothing in an easily accessible place.
Put it into practice:
The next time you're out at the supermarket or any public setting, ask your child to look around, scan the crowd, and pick out the best person to ask for help if they were lost right now. Once they've picked the person they would ask for help, tell them to go up to that person and ask what time it is. This exercise of asking the time is key to know if your training will work when they are truly lost. It's one thing to talk about a plan, it's another thing to know that your child can follow through.
Continue to practice this throughout the summer when you're together as a family in public settings, and you'll have given your child the tools and the ability to follow through if they're lost.
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