Home Security Is a Family Issue
While adults are tasked with beefing up home security with devices such as alarm systems and security lighting, the effort to maintain a safe residence is really the entire family’s responsibility. Some parents, however, feel uncomfortable speaking to children about these subjects. Reasons for this vary from not wanting to frighten children to not feeling that they are ready to handle such serious subject matters. The unfortunate truth, however, is that children may one day encounter a security threat, but preparing them with knowledge ahead of time can improve the likelihood of their safe survival.
The following are a few tips designed to help you speak to your children about home security:
Home Security Should Make Children Feel Safe
As a parent, you know your child’s development and personality best. With this in mind:
Consider offering information in small bits over time.
Don’t worry about tackling your entire checklist of home security dos and don’ts in one sitting. Instead, try casually explaining to your child why you have an alarm system, how it works and offering other pertinent information in small doses. By not making a big production about the new security devices in your home, children may feel less anxious about their presence and more open to talking about them.
Encourage your child to ask you questions about home security.
Let your child know that you are interested and willing to answer questions about home security at any time. Specifically, ask them if there are any news stories or adult conversations they’ve recently overheard which may have concerned them and encourage them to talk to you about these subjects. Use this time to reassure your child(ren) about the burglar alarm and other equipment currently in place to protect them.
Ask your child to tell you what she or he already knows about home security.
It is not uncommon for adults to be surprised by what children already know about various topics, including home security. They hear things at school, from neighborhood children or may have already seen various devices at a friend’s home. You may want to casually ask your child if she or he knows anything about home security and continue the conversation in a reassuring tone. Applaud them for the information that they’ve paid attention to (reinforcing that this knowledge is valuable and important) and take the time to gently correct any misinformation.
Home Security Knowledge Empowers Children
Approaching children about home security topics should never be frightening, so use discretion in your approach to these conversations. Always remember that your goal is to educate your child on the topic as this sort of information is intended to empower children and help remove some of the fear and vulnerability they may feel about burglaries, home invasions and other types of crimes that they may have knowledge of.
Teach Your Children How To Use Home Security Devices
Today’s children have grown up with technology that utilizes passcodes and various mobile applications. Arming, disarming and using the panic codes on your alarm system may not be too difficult for your child to learn. When you deem that your child is ready and after several conversations about your system and how it is intended to help your family, stress the importance of keeping codes private, but do not hesitate to teach your child how to use them to operate your alarm system.
Have Frequent Family Discussions About Home Security
You do not want your children to develop anxieties about home security, but it is important that information be regularly shared between family members and that the topic remain an open and ongoing discussion. Doing so helps information stay fresh on everyone’s mind and opens the floor for home security concerns to be addressed. Remember to always keep discussions as calm and reassuring as possible.
What tips do you have to offer on educating children about home security? Do you have questions or concerns about this topic, in general? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to leave your questions and comments below.