The times that we live in will affect our kids and how we parent them. Here are some ways to protect your kids from certain modern dangers:
Maybe people have always felt this way.
That the modern world is more dangerous than before.
Safer in many ways (medically, etc.) but also just more mature than the kids are ready for. I don’t know about you, but I am making sure to protect my kids from these dangers in the following ways.
Teach them who they should trust.
When it comes to trusting adults with your kids, I think it’s always best to err on the side of caution. In the long run, this is better than making judgments based on someone’s feelings.
They are after all… your kids. You get to decide who has influence in their lives.
That being said, when it comes to protecting them from modern dangers… who cares what anyone else thinks? What really maters is what you think and the rules you have taught them about who they can trust.
- Follow your gut instincts when it comes to other people. Your intuition can be trusted. It’s a gift from God that we use to help us take care of our children.
- Never let them to pressure you into allowing them to go somewhere where you’ve already said they shouldn’t. This boundary bending is dangerous. You don’t want to set the tone that you will relent on your intuition.
- Talk with your kids about trusting adults. Explain why mom trusts them and let them know that all adults are not allowed to be trusted like grandma or aunt, etc.
- Teach them how to stay together. The buddy system is great when going into someone’s house or even into church.
- Have an open communication standard. Tell them that nobody should tell them to keep a secret from their parents.
- Keep an open ear to them. Listen intently if they start talking about other people. It could be the most awkward or random moment when they share something.
Pull out these fun connecting questions to share some laughs with your precious ones!
Use them at:
- meal times
- car rides
- as a “calm down” trick
- for dinner time conversation
- or any time the day is getting chaotic or
- you need a reset to connect.
Drill in communication.
Firstly, communication is key in so many areas. Communication leads to trust, relationships, and unity. We want all three of these things with our children.
So, communication it is!
The crazy thing about kids is that sometimes they communicate in different ways than we would expect. For example, you may have to listen to what feels like 972 hours of boring storytelling to get to the point of what they need.
Life moves fast, and we can get in the habit of brushing off our kids when they are speaking to us. It’s hard to hear… but true for many people. Sometimes I think, “when will he get to the point of his story?”
What message are we sending when we don’t listen to them? We are telling them that we don’t want to communicate with them. So, let’s talk about some ways to fix it:
- Play “pass the stick” at dinnertime. Each person tells the highs and low of their day while the family listens and responds to their words.
- Plan a dinnertime devotion (or devotion some other time) that lends itself to discussions.
- Take time each night before bed to specifically ask each kid if they have something to share with you. Give them time and place to speak with you. Let them know you care about what they have to say.
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Open communication is so important when it comes to protecting our kids from modern dangers. Our kids need to be able to share their experiences with us.
Practice grappling with risk.
Some parents really struggle with this concept- the concept of allowing risk. The truth is that grappling with risk is a necessary developmental practice that can help protect them from modern dangers.
We all know the type. The type of overprotecting mom who never let her toddler fall down and skin his knee. She never let him try new foods he may not like. She screams “be careful” every time there’s the slightest risk.
If kids never get to walk on the balance beam of life, they will have to balance in their step. Then, they will really fall pray to just about any kind of danger.
Making mistakes is how we learn. Yes, you have that rare child who always obeys the rules. Most however, have to fall down in order to learn how to stand.
Failure make us stronger. Failure also helps us understand how the world around us works. This is where protecting them from modern dangers comes into play. Our world is an ever changing, modern world.
The sooner our kids acclimate to some mechanics of it, the more chance they have of being balanced adults. I’m in no way saying to throw your kids to the mercy of our societal standards and demands. No, way! But what I am saying is that we have to train them to function in the communities where we find ourselves.
Here some tips for grappling with risks:
- Instead of saying “be careful” say “pay attention.”
- Teach them that it’s “ok” to take calculated risks in order to learn their strengths.
- Have open conversations (at home) about the people and places that you go. Don’t turn a blind eye to the world we live in.
- Be honest about your fears of the dangers of this world. Let them know that you’re praying for their safety.
- Teach morals or scriptures to your kids that help them to see risk and danger from a healthy perspective.
Avoid technology landmines and traps.
The biggest modern danger that children face in our world is technology. Social media is running on every device in every kid’s hand.
Even parents who were against social media for their kids in the past, are now allowing them to use the “kid version” of that platform.
It’s everywhere, unavoidable, and a source of danger if we allow it to be.
I’m being honest when I claim that I want to completely and totally protect my children from the dangers of technology. It scared the socks off me. I want nothing more than to shield them 100%.
However, they see it at school. Their friends and family talk about it. They hear things and see things that I have no control over. It’s simply a part of life that we have to deal with. It leads to so many modern dangers that we don’t even like to consider.
Check off critical household, social, and hygiene skills for your child so they’re prepared (not petrified) of growing up!
- Exposure to unwanted content
- Peer pressure
- Self-image troubles
- Mental & hormonal changes
- Lack of self-control
- and so much more
The answer can’t be totally hiding our children away in a closet so they never get exposed to such things. It has to be that we train them to see situations for what they are, and know how to respond when technology is in play.
- Set clear rules for using other people’s devices.
- Train them on online safety.
- Use parental blocking and controls.
- Set clear expectations and stick to it.
- Never trust that your kids are telling the 100% truth with their device- check it.
- Model correct/healthy use of your own cell phone.
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