How to prepare your kids for potentially dangerous situations without being overprotective?
There’s a fine line between being a protective mama bear and a helicopter mom, but it’s a line that all parents need to know. Children learn from making mistakes and fixing them. Being protective parent keeps your kids safe, but it doesn’t teach them independence. Fortunately, it is possible to protect your kids without overdoing it. Check out these tips to learn how to keep your kids safe without hovering over them constantly.
Create a Safe Home Environment
Products such as the smart mattress from Moonlight Slumber, cabinet locks, and outlet covers make baby proofing your home simple. But how do you continue to create a safe home environment for children as they age? At some point, your kids need to learn not to stick things into a wall socket and not to touch the oven without your input. It’s important to teach your kids about household dangers by reading books, talking, and teaching them how to properly use things like appliances, kitchen utensils, and wall outlets.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to have a safe home environment or that you should allow your kids to run wild. It’s okay to cover wall outlets when you’re kids are little or put a lock on your liquor cabinet when they are teens. You should still use safety precautions, but at the same time, it’s important to spend time teaching your kids why specific things are dangerous so they are prepared.
Limit and Monitor Internet Usage
It’s important to limit and monitor internet usage as soon as your children begin getting online because as they get older, the task becomes a lot more difficult. It’s up to you to determine what websites and apps they should have access to at their age, and believe it or not, letting them use electronics at a young age can actually be a good thing.
When your kids are younger, set a time limit for video games, TV, and internet usage. It needs to be easy for you to monitor. Create any accounts needed yourself to ensure you always have access and regularly check the accounts with your child — this way, you aren’t snooping. As your child grows, continue to teach them about internet safety. This way, when the child reaches an age where monitoring internet usage infringes on his or her privacy, your child is already prepared — hopefully, because you’ve spent years talking about the internet and using it with your child, he or she is also comfortable enough to come to you with any problems or questions.
Let Your Kids be Independent
Helicopter parents are known to hover over their kids. However, kids need to be allowed to play, explore, and just be kids. It’s how they learn about the world around them. Let them participate in and do age-appropriate activities on their own terms, but set boundaries. For example, if you have a teenager who wants to attend a friend’s party, don’t simply deny the request, find out the important details: the party location, if adults will be there, and what other kids are expected to attend. If it sounds safe, let your kid go, but don’t forget to discuss the dangers of underage drinking and using illegal drugs so your child is prepared for situations that may arise.
It’s important to let your kids make decisions on their own, but it’s equally important for you to set boundaries. It’s the boundaries you set that helps keep kids out of trouble and prepares them for potentially dangerous situations. If you’ve set rules and guidelines for your kids to follow, and you keep tabs on their location at all times, you’re doing a great job as a parent — you need to remember that.
Parenting isn’t always easy, and there will be a lot of moments where you need to remind yourself that you’re doing the absolute best that you can do, but you don’t need to be a helicopter mom to be a good parent. In fact, giving your child some independence and responsibility is a good thing. Create a safe home environment, teach your children about dangers, and set boundaries for your child to prepare him or her for the world outside your house.