Keep Children Safe

Dear parents, guardians and caregivers here are a few tips by Sarah Parisi, of Toddling Around Chicagoland, on ways to help keep children safe:

  1. Don’t teach “Stranger Danger.”

That was the warning when we were kids, but it’s probably best to leave that one in the past. First of all, it invokes the image of a scary person. In truth, an abductor will look like anyone else and they can approach children in a friendly way. Once they introduce themselves or claim to be a friend of a parent, they may not be a stranger in your child’s mind. Stress to your child that they can not identify whether someone is good or bad based on their appearance.

Second of all, there may be times when your child does need to talk to strangers. The important thing is to talk to the right stranger. It’s tempting to tell your child to find a police officer, but children often can’t distinguish between a police uniform and other uniforms, and abductors have used uniforms in order to gain trust. Helpful tip: If a child is lost or needs help, tell them to look for a mother with kids.

  1. Teach your kids that adults don’t need help from kids.

If an adult needs directions, help finding a pet or anything else, they should ask another adult, not a child.

  1. Have a code word phrase.

This is a phrase that you would share with your children, especially as it relates to adults they should and can trust. They should know that if you send someone to pick them up from school or any activity, the code word will be used. Make it something funny or personal so it’s easy for the kids to remember. A child should only go with someone who tells them that phrase.

  1. Let your child know it’s OK to yell, scream, and say no to an adult if they feel uncomfortable or scared.

We teach children to listen to adults and not to be disruptive, but there are times they should disobey and be loud. It’s a good idea to practice with your kids. Give them a scenario and have them practice say no firmly and loudly, screaming, and running away.

  1. Be cautious and aware of identifying clothing.

Personalized shirts, a team uniform or clothing from your child’s school can provide a potential abductor with valuable information. If they are able to call your child by name or mention their school or team, they may be able to trick your child into believing that they know them.

The most important thing when trying to keep your child safe from abduction is to communicate with your child. Talk to them regularly about the dangers and what they can do to stay safe.

The Animal School

Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of “a new world”. So they organized a school.

They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming, in fact better than his instructor, but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own was to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well, and also run, climb and fly a little, had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school. Does this fable have a moral? – George H. Reavis

I take it the moral is to let the duck swim, the rabbit run, the squirrel climb, and the eagle fly…

Parenting Principles

  • Don’t worry about treating children fairly. Remember that to a child, “fair” means “me first” with the biggest and best of everything.
  • To a child, need and want feel exactly the same. The child will remain forever confused unless parents do a good job of separating the wheat from the chaff, the necessary from the unnecessary.
  • Do not agonize over anything a child does or fails to do if the child is perfectly capable of agonizing over it himself.
  • The fewer toys and, therefore, the more space a child has in which to explore and create, the more successful the child will be at occupying his or her time.
  • Don’t allow children be the center of attention in the family for it will turn the family upside down, inside out, and backwards.
  • In the adult-centered family, the major share of attention goes from adult to adult rather than adult to child. This “weans” children from the need for constant attention, thus permitting the growth of self-reliance.
  • Within a family, the proper place for children is the backseat. Parents need to sit in the front seat, so they can keep their eyes on the road ahead.
  • Parents who always go out of their way for their children eventually lose their way.
  • As a parent, you’ll never be perfect, but you’ll always be the only mother or father your child will ever want. Do your best, and your best will be good enough.
  • Respect in the parent-child relationship is a two-way street. Children show respect for parents by obeying them, and parents show respect for children by expecting them to obey.
  • The teaching of the “Three R’s” (Respect, Responsibility, and Resourcefulness) begins at home.
  • The more parents do for a child, the less the child is ultimately capable of doing for himself.
  • The most effective means of helping a child toward becoming a productive, responsible member of society is to assign him or her a regular, daily routine of chores around the home. Parents who fail to do so are neglecting their civic responsibilities.
  • The ultimate goal of raising children is to help them out of our lives and into successful lives of their own.
  • Discipline is not the sum of a set of methods. It is a climate of understanding that permeates every aspect of the family’s life.
  • The ability to develop self-control depends upon being able to accurately predict the consequences of your own behavior. That’s why parental consistency is so important. Without it, a child wanders lost.

by John Rosemond

Raising Obedient Kids

The Formula

by John Rosemond

Obedient kids are happy kids. Therefore, whereas an obedient child is certainly a blessing to a parent, the greatest benefit of obedience accrues to the child.

Getting a child to obey is a matter of six features of parent communication that I call The Formula:

1. Speak from an upright position. I know that some “experts” say to kneel in front of the child, but they’re wrong.

2. Use as few words as possible to convey the instruction.

3. Precede the instruction with an authoritative phrase such as, “I want you to . . . ,” “It’s time for you to . . . ,” or “I expect you to . . .”

4. Do not explain why you’re giving the instruction. That results in the question, “Why?”

5. If the child asks why, respond with, “Because I said so.” Again, I know that some disagree; but, again, they’re wrong.

6. If possible, walk away. Don’t stand there giving the child someone to push back against.

In September 2016, a couple in Richmond, Virginia, heard me describe The Formula. Their three-year-old has been obedient ever since. Mind you, prior to the fateful speaking engagement in question, this child ignored, complained, cried, and otherwise refused to obey instructions from her parents. The child’s oppositional defiant disorder was cured in one day.

A couple who attended a small-group retreat in Atlanta in February 2017 began using The Formula with their four-year-old. The first day, the little fellow cleaned up his toys by himself, dressed himself, and when straightforwardly told to stop interrupting conversations between his parents, he stopped and remained quiet. All three were firsts. When his dreaded nap time came, his parents used The Formula, and he took his nap without a fight, whereas prior to this, there had always been a nap-time scene. He also had a habit of following his mother around the house. She told him to stop and leave the room. He left the room.

The parents, amazed at how much progress they’d made in such a short time, applied a similar recommendation of mine to their son’s refusal to eat vegetables. At dinner they gave him one green bean cut into pieces, one half teaspoon of fried chicken, and one half teaspoon of mashed potatoes and gravy. They informed him that when he ate everything, he could have seconds of anything. He ate everything. Over subsequent nights they increased the veggie but not the meat or starch. A week later, he was eating a regular helping of broccoli without complaint. In addition, his teacher reported that he was also eating veggies at school.

The proper discipline of a child is a matter of presentation, folks. It isn’t a matter of using correct consequences, although there will be times when consequences are necessary. The Formula keeps the use of consequences to a minimum, meaning everyone is happier.

Your great-grandmother could have told you this. Despite what people in my profession have been saying for 50 years, there is nothing new under the sun concerning children.