Happy Independence Day from Linder Security Systems! No neighborhood is completely immune to crime, however, here are some steps you can take to help keep your family & neighborhood safe while giving your children the “independence” they want!
- Know where your children are. Have your children tell you or ask permission before leaving the house and give them a time to check in or be home. When possible, have them leave a phone number of where they will be.
- Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting their home phone number and address, and your work and cell phone numbers. If they have trouble memorizing these, write them down on a card and have them carry it at all times. You may also want to laminate the card so it will last. Tell your children where you will be and the best way to reach you.
- Set limits on where your children can go in your neighborhood. Do you want them crossing busy roads? Playing in alleys or abandoned buildings? Are there certain homes in your neighborhood that you don’t want your children to go to?
- Get to know your children’s friends. Meet their parents before letting your children go to their home and keep a list of their phone numbers. If you can’t meet their parents, call and talk to them. Ask what your children might do at their house and if they will be supervised. You might feel awkward asking, but each family has differing opinions on what is and isn’t safe. Be sure you know if your opinion matches theirs.
- Choose a safe house in your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor’s house where your children can go if they need help. Point out other places they can go for help, like stores, libraries, and police stations.
- Teach children to settle arguments with words, not fists. Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights, and what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies. Get your child to talk through their visit; you might find out that he/she isn’t being treated fairly with their friends but is told to not tell his parents.
- Work together with your neighbors. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors and their children so you can look out for one another. Set up a community group online so you can share timely information with whoever wants to participate.
Source: National Crime Prevention Council & Linder Security Systems