Never Lose Your Kids Again - Top 5 Tips For Nervous Parents
If you’re afraid that you’ll lose your kid while out in a public place, here’s what to do.
If you’re a parent, you’ve worried.
- Worried about whether your child is eating properly.
- Worried about whether your child is sick.
- Worried about the horrible prospect of losing your child in a public place.
This last fear is perhaps the most palpable, as it speaks to our core as parents. As a mother, I can say that it’s almost primal - that innate urge to protect our children from harm - which is impossible to do if said child has wandered off in the midst of your local mega-mall.
“The urge to protect our children from harm is primal and innate.”
We’ve all experienced that sickening feeling, however fleeting, where you’ve momentarily lost sight of your child and in an instant your world feels like it’s falling down around you. It may have only lasted for a mere few seconds until you see your little one steps away, but for any of us who have experienced this, you know that it’s not a feeling that you’ll ever want to live through again.
To combat the possibility of losing your child, there are things that can be done. In this day and age, there are indeed options, however controversial. Sure, you can tether yourself to your child via leash, but be prepared to face the scorn and judgement of others - parents and non-parents alike.
You can engage a high-tech solution for your kid, however, there’s always the expense to consider, as well as the very real possibility that a four-year-old child can and will lose the electronic tracking device or smartphone that you’ve affixed to them (and don’t think that sewing it into a coat, attaching it to a place where they can’t get at it, like a knapsack compartment or otherwise will work: kids are notorious for leaving/losing their clothes, bags, and everything else they’re not supposed to. Wristband and watch-type GPS systems have also been known to have been yanked off by irritated children).
For these reasons and many more, parents need simple, easy-to-follow and effective strategies in the event that our precious children do go missing during the course of a day or evening out.
Following are six simple tips for parents just in case the little one wanders off while in your care:
1) A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - Before you even venture out of the safety of your home, take a picture of your child. The purpose is to have a clear photo of exactly what they’re wearing, what they look like, etc. as recently as possible. In the unfortunate event that they do get lost, you’ll be able to very quickly transmit their appearance to those who can help.
2) Do You Know Who I Am? - A piece of paper in your child’s pocket with your full name, phone numbers, address, their full name, age and important particulars may be all that’s needed if your child gets lost. Before you leave the house, tell your little one that it’s a special piece of paper and is only to be shown to the nice police officer or grown-up who works at the store if you get separated.
3) Name, Rank and Serial Number, Please - If they’re old enough, teach them to memorize your phone number (cell and/or home), address and their parents’ names. If they do become separated from you, they can quickly tell a responsible adult how to get in contact with you so that both worried mom/dad and child can be reunited in a timely manner.
4) A Meet-up Location - If they are old enough, determine a specific place to meet up with your child as soon as you arrive at your location. This place should be somewhere easy to find, easily recognizeable and not too far from where you’re originally going. Tell your son or daughter the following: “If we get separated, this is where I’ll be, waiting for you.” Even if they can’t find their way back, they can tell the responsible adult who finds them where you’ll be, e.g “The main entrance with the fountain,” or “Right outside of McDonalds.” Along with their particulars outlined in tips #2 and 3, you’ll be reunited with your child in no time.
5) Better Safe Than Sorry - Teach them about “safe people” - Police men or women, store clerks (behind the register), etc. Teach them to never go with a stranger who is not one of these people and never get into a car or vehicle unless it’s a nice policeman (in uniform, in a police car) who is trying to help. We always tell our kids not to talk to strangers but the reality is, sometimes they may have to. Make sure that they speak to the right strangers, when they do.
6) Colour My World - Bright colours are a way of making your kids stand out from the crowd. When you’re going out with the little ones to a location that is densely crowded, plan ahead by dressing them in distinguishing clothing. This could include bright colours, noticeable patterns or designs, or a unique hat or jacket. In the event of them becoming separated from you, they’ll be much easier to spot by both you and those who are helping you find them.
So you see, venturing outside of the security of your home with your child in tow doesn’t have to be an anxiety-ridden exercise. With the right preparation, a few simple tactics and assurance that you’ve put the right contingencies in place in case your little one does venture out of your sight, you’re good to go!
What do you do as precautions to keep your kids safe when you’re out with them in a public place? How do you prepare them and yourself in the event that they get lost? Tell me about it in the comments section below.
Here’s a little video I did on the topic:
How to NOT Lose Your Child In Public - Tips For Parents
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