18 May 2015

A conversation about Personal Safety

The world today can often seem like a very complicated place to rear a child. The explosion of the internet, best friend and arch-enemy rolled into one, has changed the face of parenting forever. There’s no denying that a lot of us at some point have wished that the kids of this generation could be a little less well-informed and precocious, and well, a little more like us when we were kids. Our parents are usually just as puzzled with this new crop, as many of the parenting rules from a generation back do not seem to fit the bill anymore. Thankfully though, the internet has also enabled parents to course-correct outdated modes of parenting, and to embrace new ones that do work.

One issue that is getting a lot of attention on the net, and rightfully so, is the concept of personal safety and boundaries for children. This subject is one that we have shied away from discussing with many former generations of children, because it has traditionally been one of the conversational taboos of our society. We can all agree that the stock instruction of ” Don’t talk to strangers” has always been, and continues to be woefully inadequate.

How then, do we navigate this delicate issue with our children in an age-appropriate fashion? How do we tread the balance between being too ambiguous and not getting the message through to our kids, and being too stark and feeding their fears? The internet really has risen to the rescue in this space, with a plethora of good advice in various formats.

Here’s one such educational video for pre-schoolers that conveys the message beautifully!

And here’s another with some excellent advice on discussing sexuality with children –

http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/two-boys-and-a-mad-mum/article/taming-the-birds-and-the-bees

We’d love to hear from you about your experiences in handling these conversations with your children – What were the challenges you faced, and what sources ( videos, stories etc) did you use to help your children understand Personal Safety and boundaries?