As parents, we need to be prepared and to prepare our children well for navigating the world around them. Despite what some may think, we don’t have 18 years to prepare them for the “real world”. They start encountering the real world as soon as they are born. Children may encounter unsafe situations with sexual predators, or teenagers may make reckless decisions to do things like text and drive. We can’t protect them from everything, but we can do our part to prepare and train them.
This means we have to take certain precautions, help them develop common sense, and have the difficult conversations.
Be Prepared Yourself
Once you become a parent, you need to think about some unpleasant topics. One of those topics is what will happen to your spouse and children if something happens to you? How will they be financially provided for? You can research options for term life insurance (a better option financially than whole life) through www.affordablelifeusa.com. Life insurance guarantees that your spouse and children will be taken care of and your funeral costs covered. The last thing you would want to stick your family with if you passed would be mounting bills and expenses.
Creating a will, however hard to think about is necessary. You want to have a plan laid out for your children. Losing one or both parents is devastating enough without your extended families entering into legal battles for custody or rights to assets.
Help Them Develop Common Sense
As much as we would like to believe that common sense is innate, some children are lacking in this area. It is not uncommon for some children to be incredibly bright but lack common sense or “street smarts”. If we look at this from a Biblical perspective we see that the development of wisdom is not passive, but very intentional. And wisdom in many ways comes back to common sense, right and wrong, and the ability to handle difficult situations well.
According to www.parents.com, talking through different scenarios and different locations helps. We don’t want to scare our kids and make them paranoid, but we do want them to trust their instincts and intuition and to stop and think before going somewhere or with someone that may be unsafe.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Conversation
Especially with teenagers it is easy to assume that they aren’t listening. That what we say goes in one ear and out the other. They don’t care and our efforts are futile. But the truth is that while they may not act like they are listening, they are. Your teens are listening more than you think, and they are watching you. When you encounter hard days and difficult situations, they know it. We like to think they don’t pick up on those things, but they do. And they are learning from our example. The real question is–what are we teaching?
With young children it is still important to have these conversations. Depending on their learning style, you may need to reiterate the lessons more than once or even “practice” through what-if games and scenarios. With all ages, capitalize on everyday examples and life experiences. When your children do mess up or find themselves in an unsafe situation, decompress together. Talk through it. For example, your son chased a ball into the street without looking for cars and a car screeched to a stop to avoid hitting him. How should he have handled it differently? What could have been the outcome? Why is the rule of stoping and looking both ways before crossing a street important?
Now, if the situation they ended up in is not their fault and they were a victim of abuse, please do NOT shame them or make them feel that it was their fault in any way. However, many of these situations can be avoided through educating your child on different warning signs and what to do if something bad happens. Always encourage them to come talk to you right away.