2 Wants To Know - how to talk to your kids about safety and how to react in dangerous situations without scaring them.
Approach your talk about safety as schools do with fire drills and tornado drills. Here’s what to do to stay safe. Use a current situation that’s catching headlines as a starting point. So in this case, talk about a student getting kidnapped at the bus stop. You can talk about bus stop safety. Make sure your child knows where to wait for the bus, what to do if they see unknown people hanging out and which neighbors' houses to go to if they need help.
But when it comes to explaining scarier situations like someone grabbing them then stick to the facts. Tell them to scream, fight and run away. If they see another student getting kidnapped run for help to the people who you've already told them to go to. Practice this with your kids. You have to physically show your kids what to do. Just like the schools do about fire and tornado drills. You have to practice in order to internalize it – to develop muscle memory.
As much as you want to avoid scaring your kids, you can’t pretend that bad things won’t ever happen. Or that you’ll be there to protect them from any harm. That’s not realistic. When you have these tough conversations, you’re setting your kids up for success and for survival.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.
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