Every child is different and so is every parent. Each one of us has our own way of dealing with our kids. There isn’t any thumb rule to ensure child safety. But, by following a few basic steps one can definitely reduce the odds of a threat towards the child. Being pro-active is the best way to protect your child from a predator.
Here are a few things every parent could do to protect their children against abuse:
- Educate your children. Education should not be confined to just schools. To educate children, parents need to first educate themselves. They must know how much information should be given to a child of a particular age, and the appropriate way to communicate the same. Parents should take an initiative and teach their children about their body. They should also encourage their children to ask doubts. Most parents, when children ask/talk about private parts of the body, ignore their query or say something else and try to divert their mind. Evasion is not a good idea.
- Observe your child. Watch their behavioural changes. Every child communicates in his or her own way. Although when children are too young, they do not know to express every joy or discomfort in words, their gestures and behavior towards people and place conveys a message for every adult.
- Learn about your Environment: Parents also need to be equipped with all the information about the school, staff, domestic maids/servants, neighbors, almost everyone around them. This helps in knowing if the child is in the right company. In case of any doubts about anyone, parents can take all the necessary steps towards the child’s safety and pre-empt any unsavoury incident.
- Spend time with your Kids: This might sound like a no-brainer, but spending quality time with your children is one of the most basic things that take a backseat in many of our families these days. Parents get busy with their hectic schedules and may not be able to give quality time to their children. This leads to a communication gap. It is a gap that each of us need to work on continuously. Parents need to make their children feel that they are listening to them and they are always available for them.
- Trust your children. Trusting your children gives them a lot of confidence and keep reinforcing what is good and what is bad. This will give them the courage to deal with bad elements when they come across them .Also, keep an eye on the kind of friends they make and their activities with them.
- Give your children Freedom: Give your children enough freedom, but make them realize that freedom comes with responsibility. Freedom with responsibility makes children capable of making small decisions, and helps them discriminate between good and bad. This way, children will be able to monitor and take care of themselves better even in the parents absence.