Every parent wants to see their child grow up safely. But it can be difficult to foster a protective atmosphere amidst a pandemic, gun violence, growing global tensions, and more. The last few years have been challenging for everyone, and the world may appear frightening to your child. Here are a few ways to help your child feel safe in a threatening world.
1. Keep in Touch
The evolution of technology has brought with it both horrible and amazing creations. School shootings on American soil have only increased since they started being tracked regularly in 1970. At the same time, the tech that protects your children has also proliferated.
Modern home security systems are much more advanced than they used to be. No longer limited to static cameras, many systems come with their own app that has a myriad of features. Some include intercom systems that allow you to speak to your child even if you’re not home. And many allow you to lock and unlock your entire house remotely. Knowing that you have the power to protect them even when you’re away can be reassuring for your child.
Now it’s easier than ever for you and your child to get in touch with each other instantly. Many parents have chosen to get smartwatches and smartphones for their kids. At the same time, giving a kid access to the internet too early can be risky. Children aren’t always ready to use it responsibly. And even with parental settings on, they still may be able to access sites that they shouldn’t.
Instead, a kids smartwatch or phone will provide your child with the same feeling of reassurance as a normal device. They can still contact you without also being able to access social media, games, or internet browsing.
Many other devices are being developed for family security and connectivity. The industry continues to improve, so keep your eye out for new developments that can protect your child.
2. Schedule a Routine
Establishing a scheduled routine is one of the simplest ways to help your kid feel safe. They probably go to school at the same time each weekday, but what about when they’re not in school? Each week brings with it ample time that can serve a greater function for your child. Weekends are an especially great opportunity to increase the familiarity and comfort that comes with a routine.
Keep in mind that scheduling doesn’t have to mean the same as being an overbearing parent. Scheduling is about setting expectations. It affords your child the certainty that “at X time, I will do Y, in Z location.” But what will they do with their time?
You can develop many of your child’s interests and hobbies into productive learning experiences. Does your kid like computers and games? Many schools offer after-school robotics and programming clubs. Do they like climbing trees? They might enjoy rock climbing, too. If they love reading, they can share that passion with others at a book club!
Every day presents numerous opportunities for your child to try something new. And getting out and participating in the world will give them a sense of confidence in their own abilities.
Think about your kid’s interests and hobbies, and consider where they might have a social intersection. There are probably others who share that hobby. Not only will your child feel the reassurance of a regular routine, but their social circle will expand.
3. Build Self-Reliance
As painful as it is to admit, there are times when you can’t be there for your child. There will come a moment of conflict, internal or external, that they must face on their own. In this case, the best you can do as a parent is to prepare them for that inevitability.
Everyone experiences negative emotions, but not everyone learns how to deal with them effectively. Kids are no different. Meditation is an incredibly useful practice that helps people regulate their emotions. So when inner turmoil does arrive, they know how to process it. Some research even suggests kids who are taught meditation in school display improved academic skills.
Unfortunately, there is always a risk that a confrontation could escalate to physical violence. Of course, every parent hopes it never comes to that. But enrolling your child in self-defense classes will at least prepare them for the possibility. Young girls can especially benefit from this kind of education. Learning self-defense improves your child’s self-confidence, and the world may seem less scary if they feel ready for anything.
Cooking is another important self-reliance skill to learn as a child. It’s something that they’ll likely have to do for the rest of their lives, so why not start now? Teaching your child to cook is also a great opportunity to bond with them. And who knows — maybe they’ll even treat you to a homemade meal!
Empowering Your Child
With all the chaos in the world today, kids can feel overwhelmed and struggle to find their way. Thankfully, there are many ways to help them feel safer. No matter how you choose to help them, empowering your child will give them a sense of control and confidence. In turn, they’ll feel more secure in a threatening world.