The last few weeks have taught us new lessons. The increasing reports of missing kids are worrying. Could parents be too busy to look after their kids, or have we neglected the basic home lessons?
With the ever-changing life demands, raising street-smart kids is paramount. Every parent wants their kid to have an excellent environmental understanding.
We want them to be good situation analyzers. More importantly, we want them to have a sound judgment on scenarios, places, and people around them. By having an in-depth environmental understanding, we can trust their personal decisions.
But how do you raise street-smart kids?
The answer is simple. It’s all about enhancing their common sense. While these senses are ordinary, each child has a varying degree depending on how we raise them. The surroundings contribute their part, and you as a parent have yours too.
Here is the deal.
Teach pre-scholars the basics and upgrade as they grow. As parents, sometimes we worry so much. We assume that our kids are too young to comprehend ideas.
But these champs are super intelligent. Teach them and allow their small minds to comprehend the information as they grow, and when they are old, they will not depart from your counsel.
Do it repeatedly
Repetition enhances understanding in kids. You may need to repeat one concept over and over to drive the message home. The beauty of repetition is that once they understand, the lesson sticks in their subconscious mind.
How Do You Teach Street Smart Behaviors?
1. Play the “What If” Game for Street-Smart Kids
Playing the “What if …” game enhances your kid’s ability to think through scenarios. It presents a problem that demands a quick solution. This could range from emergency scenarios to risky situations.
While on it, ask some questions like “What would you do if someone you’ve never met offered you sweets or asked you to assist him in finding his missing puppy?”
Or “what will you do if your friend fell in a pit? Or water while playing?
Allow them time to think and respond. Afterward, tell your kids what you think.
As you discuss how to handle the situations, be honest about why you tell them these things. Inform them that strangers use lovely pieces of stuff as bait and can take them from mummy forever or harm them.
Let them know that you can salvage an emergency through prompt actions.
Educate them about the everyday dangers without feeling the guilt of interfering with their innocence. After all, prevention is better than cure. And, playing this game builds their confidence and enhances their decision-making prowess.
What if… what if…What if… Let the game begin!
2. Teach Your Kids Some Life Hacks
Life hacks are tricks, shortcuts, skills, or novelty methods that increase efficiency in all walks of life. As a parent, teaching your kids simple things such as the best route back home, apartment alerts, or shopping safety is an excellent way of enhancing their safety.
Let them learn to inform you when they leave a place. Also, get them to draw their neighborhood map to increase their surrounding awareness.
Endeavor to teach them appropriate strategies, such as reacting when they feel they’re in danger. For example, when they’re walking home, and someone approaches them. Tell your child not to accompany them, but rather talk loudly to attract the attention of other passers-by.
This can prevent the stranger from doing something inappropriate to them.
Or, if they feel threatened by a person, knock on the nearest home or signal the nearest police or security, guards. Let them learn to speak about anything that or about someone who is making them uncomfortable.
Life hacks are so many. Depending on your environmental challenges, you can sight out the prevailing issues and address them accordingly.
3. Teach Your Kids about Stranger Danger
Children encounter strangers every day. Be it in parks, shopping malls, or along the streets. So, it’s good to tell them that some of these strangers are good while others can be harmful.
The first step is to define who a stranger is. Let them not think that “bad strangers” look scary, like the villains in cartoons. But instead, offer some examples of what good strangers do and what bad strangers do.
Explain to your kid, especially if you frequent malls and other crowded places, that if he can’t see you, it means you can’t see him either, and that may not be safe. Remind your kid why talking to or receiving gifts from strangers can be dangerous. Also, teach them what they ought to do if they suspect that someone is a nasty stranger.
4. Teach Them about Sexuality
Raising sexually educated kids can help to prevent sexual abuse. Sexual problems often begin and end with parental attitudes about sexuality. This attitude determines how susceptible your child becomes to sexual manipulation.
As a parent, whenever you feel uncomfortable discussing matters of sexuality, you train your kids to remain quiet on this issue. Whether they’ll react to such incidents with shame and embarrassment depends on how you orient them.
Take a deliberate move. Teach your kids about parts of their bodies, with an emphasis on sexual organs. Let them know that their bodies belong to themselves; hence, they should allow no one to touch them, especially in private places. Insist on the categories of people, especially their friends and caregivers.
Also, encourage them to talk about everything that goes on in their life by letting them know that any secret you keep from your parent is a bad secret.
5. Teach Your Kid about Bullying
Many parents are oblivious of bullying, yet it happens all the time. Your child can be the perpetrator or the victim. Ensure that you talk about both sides of the coin and the consequences.
Often, the bullies will single out their victims based on a perceived difference between them and others. This differences can be in appearance, ethnicity, intellect, or religious affiliation. Teaching your kids to accept and appreciate diversity can go a long way in dealing with the vice.
Teach them what bullying entails. This can be someone hurting them to get what they have, or threatening, name-calling, and teasing.
Let them know the dangers brought about by bullying or being bullied. This can include lowering their self-esteem or isolating them from their peers. It can also make them drop out of school and even cause health problems or suicide.
6. Let Them Learn to Say “NO.”
Teach your kids that adults are not always correct. In case they tell them to do something known to be wrong, they shouldn’t, but rather seek a second opinion.
Sometimes your kid may fall victim to funny circumstances simply because you taught them to respect the adults. It’s thus essential to explain the different “no” situations. And, to clearly elaborate, the different circumstances where adults may be wrong.
7. Be a Friendly and Smart Parent
For you to raise a street-smart kid, you need to be smart. Learn all you can about parenting skills. Avoid doing little things that can compromise your kid’s safety.
For example, shouting your kid’s name in a crowded place is not being smart, or writing their name and home address on their uniform or water bottle. This gives strangers the liberty to address them by their names, creating a sense of security.
Also, make sure they memorize their home phone number, cell phone number, and address. You may need to mention where you work or even give them your office number if they can’t reach you on the cell phone.
However, you should state clearly that they are for emergency purposes. Also, don’t forget to teach on the proper use of that number, lest they give it to strangers with ill motives.
8. Teach them to Trust Their Instinct
Teach your kids to trust that little voice inside telling us when something isn’t quite right. Instincts can be powerful, especially in unforeseen, dangerous situations. For example, your child is walking home and feels that someone is following them,” teach them to be careful and join a group instead of walking alone.
Help your children to recall moments when they’ve had a funny feeling in their soul. Perhaps it was a time when they lied or hide something from you, knowing very well they shouldn’t. Perhaps it was a time when they took a toasty and knew they weren’t supposed to.
Teaching your kids to recognize that feeling and follow their instinct can protect them from hidden dangers.
9. Allow Your Kids to Fail
Doing everything for your kid robs them of the ability to be confident in the future. They tend to be over-dependent, always wanting to blame others when something goes wrong.
Allow your kids to make simple decisions at an early age. Making decisions such as what to wear and ‘how to do something’ exposes them to choices.
With choices, sometimes you are right, sometimes you’re wrong, but regardless, you still face the consequences. It’s through these consequences that they learn to cope with failure and celebrate small wins.
Also, you don’t have to win every argument. Just because your answer to their request is often, No, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seize the slightest opportunity to say ‘YES,’ to some of their demands.
Create a routine, provide choices, and engage as a guardian and a teacher.
Teaching your kids smart street behaviors is a super way of preparing them for a great future—the future, where they can use simple judgment to make a great decision. Start today and watch them become independent and responsible.