• Thomas Scannell

How To Make Your Child Street Smart

If you're not worrying about your child being stabbed then your worrying about them being abducted or being a drug runner or being bullied the list of factors for parents to worry about is endless. And this leads to every parent having the same thought when the read the next headline “What if it's my child”

Please understand I am not here to say the worlds perfect and you should let your child roam free or even scare you into locking your child in their room until they are ready to marry and have children of their own.

I myself worry about my children every single day of there lives and this is because as a parent our children should outlive us.

We want our children to believe we are Superman /women to them, always able to control and dictate every situation that arrives in their life. But as a parent, We have to understand this is not how the real world works and if you want your child to have the best chance at this game of life they have to start experiencing it for themselves.

I was asked by a parent to write a blog about how to make your child street smart and after some deep thought and reading other posts on the subject I believe being street smart means that you want your child to have a good environmental or situational understanding. You want your child to know what is going on around them.

This can only be developed from ‘real life’ experiences and that comes from actually doing the task, it is not something that can be read or explained but your child has to start seeing the world through their own eyes, and whether it is through successes or failures, these first-hand experiences develop their knowledge and understanding of the world.

And that's the hard part as parents we have to face children need to learn about their environment without us present without us looking over their shoulder, but what we should have installed in them before they start exploring is self worth, self esteem, empathy and for them to understand that although as parents we are not Superhumans we can offer support, unbiased advice, trust and respect and unconditional Love and as parents that our superpower.

So when you ask me how can you make your child more streetwise my answer is start allowing them more responsibility and if they make a mistake or something goes wrong, be there for them to explain to them why it happened too, be honest.

I'm sorry it, not the answer you may be looking for I can't tell you something bad won't happen to your child but what I will tell you is with you support everything that happens to will make them stronger.

Here are some steps that you can put in place to help you and your developing child.

1. Teach your child to trust their instincts and stay alert: You know those gut feelings of yours? Now is the time to pay attention. If something around them seems “off”, walk away and retreat to safety. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to admit that they are frightened even if they feel foolish after the fact. Bad vibes are bad vibes so teach them to trust themselves and you will be fine.

2. Teach them to Evaluate the risks: Headed to an unfamiliar area? Evaluate the risks so that they can be prepared. Dress to blend in, don’t carry a lot of obviously expensive electronics and don’t call excessive attention to themselves. If the area is dangerous, evaluate their need to even go there. Is it worth the risk?

4. Situational awareness: Teach them to actively look for signs of threats and dangers. Crime can be anywhere but tends to be more prevalent in dark, quiet areas such as parking garages, alleys, stairs, and lonely roadways. As you enter these areas, look around for things that don’t seem quite right. Trust your gut!

5. Know your neighbourhood: Reach out and get to know your neighbours and members of your community. I have said this before and will say it again: talk among yourselves and come up with a plan to work together and to look after each other during a crisis or disaster.

6. Ability to defend themselves: Increase their ability to defend themselves by getting them to learn a self-defence e.g jujitsu, boxing, judo these tactics teach you how to defend yourselves when necessary and get out of that situation

Parenting Children London Schools

And when you feel you are ready to join my crusade…

Join the Thomas Scannell Facebook Community to connect with other Croydon residents who are discussing ways to make our streets safe for us and our families. — Click Here To Join

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