After working through the process of a divorce, children have to adjust to a new way of living. They may feel like the entire world has changed, even down to the small details like feeling comfortable talking with one parent or the other. It can open the door to unknown threats due to miscommunication or a lack of trust between kids and their parents.
Even if there’s nothing else in common between you and your former spouse, both parents must think alike regarding their children’s safety. Your kids must know that you have their best intentions in mind or they may reject your rules and dive into danger.
Read on to learn safety tips all parents should share with their children, no matter how old they are.
Starting a conversation about these factors could influence your kids to make smart decisions to protect themselves when faced with new situations.
1. Avoid Strange People
Your children will have to get used to shuttling between each parent over time. As they grow comfortable in a new bedroom or house during their visits, they may come across strangers. They should know never to open the door to strange people or go off with them alone. Even if someone is ringing the doorbell, they need to check with either parent to confirm it’s a trusted friend or family member.
2. Remember the Emergency Plans
New living arrangements require new safety plans, even if your kids will only be in their second home for short periods. Sit down with them and review where they can find the smoke detectors and where everyone should meet outside if they need to evacuate during a fire.
You can also go over emergency plans for tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes, depending on where each parent lives. These plans will help your kids feel safe no matter where they are, which will help them adjust to their new reality.
3. Value Your Voice
During and after a divorce, kids can react differently to parental separation and may feel they aren’t significant enough to keep their parents’ attention or save the family. The degradation of their self-esteem might cause them to stay quiet in the future if people treat them in mean, disrespectful ways.
Remind your kids that if someone says or does something that makes them uncomfortable, they have every right to tell that person to stop and then report it to an adult. Valuing themselves and their voice could save them in a dangerous situation.
4. Protect Personal Information Online
In the age of the internet, virtual threats pose just as much risk as in-person dangers. No matter how old they are, your children should learn about internet safety, such as never giving out their passwords or personal information.
Teach them to look for suspicious emails and avoid talking to strangers online so to be safe when they browse social media feeds or research information for school projects.
5. Use the Buddy System
When your kids explore where one parent moves, they’ll be in an unfamiliar environment. Curiosity may prod them to forget about their safety, which is why teaching them about the buddy system is smart. They’ll never go anywhere alone so they have a helping hand if they get scared or feel uncomfortable.
6. Ask for Help
Divorce can sometimes cause children to feel like they can’t trust adults. Parents need to assure them that the adults in their lives are always there to help. There’s no problem too big or small that they should have to face alone, no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
7. Learn About Your Security System
You or your spouse may install a security system after you begin living apart. Don’t forget to teach your kids how to activate or deactivate the alarm. They’ll need to know about this if they’ll get home from school after the alarm’s turned on or if they want to lock up the house at night.
8. Decline Shared Food or Drinks
Kids should never eat anything from a stranger or share food with their friends because of germs. They might feel pressured to do this when meeting new people or entering a new school system. The next time you sit down to eat or hang out, teach them about germs to help them understand the dangers.
9. Remain Calm and Wait
If your child gets lost in an unfamiliar store, supermarket or area of a new neighborhood, they should know to remain calm and wait. Panicking could lead them to get even more lost and confused. They should also know they can find a store supervisor or adult with a cellphone to contact you in case of an emergency.
10. Listen to Your Gut
As much as you’d like to teach them about every danger in the world, that’s not a realistic goal. One of the most important things parents can do is encourage their children to listen to their gut. If they feel pressured by friends or something feels off, they should immediately find an adult or get out of the situation.
Stay on the Same Page
You may disagree with your former spouse about many things, but you have to stay on the same page when you share safety tips with your children. Your kids will take things seriously and remember your instructions if you work as a team regarding these rules.
FAQs About Safety Tips For Children:
How do children feel after their parents’ divorce?
Children feel confused, depressed and angry after their parents’ divorce. They feel they would be betraying one parent by talking to the other as they struggle to make sense out of their parents split. The tragedy of their parents’ divorce makes them vulnerable to threats and suspicions as communication breaks down between them and their parents.
How do I make my children accept rules?
Tell them you have their best interest in your mind when they ask questions or simply reject your rules. You have to make them understand that rules are made to keep children safe from dangers.
How to ensure the safety of children during visits to parents after divorce?
You would have to take a number of steps to ensure their safety while they visit between you and your co-parent. Tell children to maintain their distance from strangers and who to contact when they are faced with a dangerous situation. Identify the smoke detectors and make sure everyone knows how to evacuate during a fire. You can also go over emergency plans for tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes, depending on where each parent lives.
Does divorce hurt children’s self-esteem?
Divorce does hurt children’s self-esteem as they blame themselves for not being able to stop their parents from splitting up. It can make them stay silent when someone bullies them or treats them in a disrespectful manner. You should make it abundantly clear to children to tell bullies and troublemakers to stop and then inform an adult.
Is the Internet a threat to children?
The Internet does pose a threat to children visiting it frequently for entertainment, research, and school assignments. Tell your children about internet safety and that they should never share their passwords and personal details with anyone. Tell them to be mindful of suspicious emails, messages, and apps—sometimes these are designed to steal information.
How to keep children safe in unfamiliar environments after divorce?
Your children are to navigate unfamiliar environments after divorce as they shuttle between each parents’ house. Children do not always keep safety in their mind and can run into trouble if left unattended. Teach them what buddy system means and how they should not visit places without a friend or someone trustworthy for help if they run into danger.
Should children learn how to handle a security system?
Children should definitely be taught to handle a security system. Many parents after divorce opt for safety systems to keep children safe. Children should know exactly how to handle the security system when they return home or when locking it at night.
What should children do if they get lost?
You should tell your children not to panic if they get lost in an unfamiliar environment, like a market, mall or a neighborhood. They should know that they can contact a supervisor or an adult with a cellphone in case they can’t find their way back to you or home.
How do I tell my children not to take risks?
Encourage children not to take risks—and listen to their gut when they feel uncomfortable in a situation or pressured by friends to do something they don’t like.
Should I talk to my ex about the safety of children?
You need to keep your ex in the loop while teaching children how to keep safe. Be sure that your ex is on the same page when you share safety tips with children to avoid a mix-up. Your children will appreciate and take their safety seriously when they find their parents on one page.