In our last post, we discussed the importance of embowering children. This piece is about empowering the parent. In this post, the parent will learn to plan routes and encourage the child to report threats. We do far more than helping children to have safer walks to school.
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This content is not just applicable for walks to school. It can be applied to any trip your child may take. For example, trick or treating, Christmas caroling and walking to grandmas house. You will not become an over protective parent by viewing this content. You will have more piece of mind.
Avoid Names on Clothing
A child will not figure our that an adult has identified their name based on their clothing or back pack. If a school or sports club argues that names on clothing is mandatory, complain and cause a fuss over the matter. It’s a massive safety hazard.
Mapping the Route
Sit down with your child and map out the safe route. You may even wish to go for a walk with your child to ensure he or she knows the correct direction. The route should contain very few road crossings. Safer road crossings include pelican crossings and zebra crossings but these do not guarantee full safety. The route should contain high visibility and no allies or dark spots.
Safe houses are the homes of trusted friends and family. For example, grand parents, uncles and close friends. These are places where a child can run to if he or she gets into trouble.
Calling for Frinds
To build on the “safe houses” philosophy, it is ideal for your child to call for friends on the way to school. That way, it will be mandatory for him or her to stop at safe houses on the way. Furthermore, the more friends your child walks with, the safer he or she will be.
Code words are a powerful tool for identifying safe adults. Simply come up with an obscure code word with your child. Your child must learn to keep this word secret. The only people who should know this code word are those you trust. Therefore, if a neighbor picks your child up from school in an emergency situation, the neighbor can recite the code word and therefore demonstrate that he or she is to be trusted.
Good code words should contain numbers too. for example, “lemon48” or “tiger92.”