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Old 07-25-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

Just wondering how you teach/taught your kids about danger and emergencies without scaring them?

I have a very sensitive 4 year old. After seeing on here recently that some people's 3 y/o can dial 911, we started talking to him about calling someone in an emergency. Now he's freaked out about emergencies and is constantly worried something is going to happen.

We have a split plan house so his room is across the house from ours. I'm terrified that someone will break into our house and he will walk right into the middle of it, instead of hiding or running away or something. Ideally I don't know what I would want him to do, but I want to talk to him about his options. I just know that if I start talking about "if someone breaks in..." etc he will get scared and obsess over it.

So how do I bring up something like and teach him without scaring him?

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Old 07-25-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

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Originally Posted by WannaBeGreen2011 View Post
I'm terrified that someone will break into our house and he will walk right into the middle of it, instead of hiding or running away or something.
I have a high-anxiety child. First you have to recognize their level of anxiety. You can't keep them in a box, but you do need to be gentle when teaching them this stuff if they worry a lot. But you also have to set the example yourself and quit worrying about that stuff!
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

First off *waves* from another mama in CS.

In regards to your question: I probably wouldn't talk about spicific things like "someone breaking in". I'd talk about more generic senerios such as, "if someone is in danger" call 911, then teach how to dial. I've always used a piece of paper with a keypad on it to start teaching where/how to dial.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

Well, you have to be realistic too. Don't tell him about break ins, or shootings, or anything like that, because he's too young and wont be able to do anything to protect himself anyway.

I teach the preschoolers in my house that they can't open the door, because they don't know if there's a stray dog out there, or if there's something outside the door waiting to be let in. (a pigeon got in this year and scared them to death, so it's enough to say "don't open the door to pigeons") This makes sense to little kids.

Also, one time, when I thought a dad was here, because i saw his car, I flung open the door, and it was not his dad. So, I used that as a teaching lesson. "Remember when I thought Cooper's dad was here and IT WASN'T COOPER'S DAD???? gasp"

THEN, we talk about what to do if you are lost. Saying "find a police officer" is not going to work, because how many cops are wandering through walmart? So, we say "ask a Mom....any Mom". I think kids can tell a MOm from a drugged out crazy woman. A Mom is easy to find. An employee not so much. Plus, when a kid is walking through the store crying, a Mom can spot a distressed kid in no time and offer to help. If you've taught your child that ALL strangers want to hurt them, they will be terrified of this poor helpful person.

In reality, you will probably never experience a true emergency where your child will need to take control. BUT, he or she should know his full name, both parents names, and their address if possible. (or your cell phone number)
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

http://kidpower.org/library/article/...ithout-scared/
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:23 PM   #6
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

I would speak yea in general terms. Like no open doors without asking b4. I know my 7 yr old now was like but what if I know karate....well a 5' or taller guy could prob over take & just say run away. Mine is friends with lots so that helps in case they are there & u can ask 4 help. Mine forgot where we were at pool & friend & neighbor was there & my daughter asked 4 help. I was so proud.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

We started with home fire drills since they do them at daycare also. Our son is a gaint so he has the job of opening the doors in an emergency at daycare, having a job to do seemed to make him a lot more chill - he used to freakout when the alarm went off.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:24 AM   #8
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I would take advantage of every opportunity to meet police officers and especially fire fighters dressed in full gear (face mask, too). If you have a formal playgroup ask if a volunteer could come talk to the kids. DH is a fireman and tells stories of kids hiding because they were scared of the fire fighters.

Along that line, I would never encourage a child to hide- even in a break in.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

(When he was 3 or 4 ) I also taught my son if he was lost to ask a MOM for help . I told him that I would never leave a store without him. So he should NEVER leave a store without me. I also told him not to go to the restroom with anyone since I can't go in the boy's room.

I told him that Strangers...they are just ordinary people who we have not been introduced to yet. We don't know if they are nice or not. We only talk to strangers in situations like checking out at the grocery store. The employee is a stranger but we have to talk to her/him so we can buy our groceries. The store helps to introduce us and make it okay .... That is why they were name badges. So we know their name and we know that they are nice because they work for the store.

We discussed fires. I told him if their was smoke in the house ... he needed to walk outside to the mailbox. IF it was smokey when he stood up, he needed to crawl out of the house and then go to the mailbox. I told him never to hide from a smoke/fire. (Because smoke is bad to breath and Mom might not be able to see him in the smoke to save him) We discussed things like Calling out where he is, waking up anyone in the house, etc Of course we discussed calling 911 or going to the safe neighbor to call 911. (Safe neighbor is the one you want your child to go to in the middle of the night screaming for help. )

He knows not to open the door for a stranger or anyone else. (IE not even a friend of the family. ONLY me or DH)

***Honestly I don't worry about people breaking in while I am home. IF they do that, then they already know who is in the house and plan to hurt you!***
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: Teaching about danger/emergencies without scaring

We also talk in general terms. If someone is in danger, if someone is badly hurt...you call 911.

I've taught my 7 & 4 year old to unlock DH's cell phone, get to the phone area and dial 911. Their daddy is Type 1 diabetic, if he's home alone with the kids they need to be able to call 911 if he gets sick and they're home alone with him. THERE we went specific..."If Daddy falls down and doesn't get back up..." type of thing.

We also told them a rough script "My name is..... I am X years old. I live at ### St. My daddy has diabetes and he's very sick. He needs an ambulance. My mama is not home."
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