Home Set as Homepage Add to Favorite Contact Submit  
             21 October, 2014
 
search for
 
 
 

Categories
Arts & Culture »
Automotive »
Business »
Career »
Communications »
Computers »
Entertainment »
Family Concerns »
Fashion »
Finances »
Food & Drinks »
Health & Fitness »
Hobbies & Crafts »
Home & Garden »
Home Based Business »
Home Management »
Internet »
Kids & Teens »
Legal »
Marketing »
Marriage & Wedding »
Parenting »
Politics & Government »
Real Estate »
Recreation & Sports »
Reference & Education »
Relationships »
Religion & Faith »
Science »
Self Improvement »
Shopping »
Society »
Travel & Leisure »
Womens Interest »
Writing & Speaking »
    
Category:  Articles » Kids & Teens

 

Child-Leash Alternatives - Encouraging Independence in Older Kids While Keeping Them Safe

Popularity:
         Views: 1404
2009-01-01 06:09:07     
Article by Tom Pollock

Anyone with children who can move around on their own has felt the sinking feeling that your child is lost. Most of the time the feeling only lasts a split second before you realize your child just moved to the other side of the shopping cart, or stopped to examine a toy just before you turned into the next aisle at the store.

But every so often (and I personally have a couple memories from my own childhood) a child actually does get lost and for the next heart pounding minutes everything in the world stops except your need to find your child again. Thank goodness for all the store clerks, security guards, kind strangers and amusement park staff who come to the aid of both parents and children when they become separated in crowded places.

Recently, we were down at a busy shopping center that had put on a big festival with all sorts of free activities for the kids and sales for the grownups. Needless to say, the place was mobbed and I realized that the most fun and exciting situations are also the loudest and most crowded. Consequently the best places to go are often the easiest for kids and their parents to get distracted and separated from each other.

Although I've never used a child-leash on my kids, I've seen plenty of confident families using them with perfect comfort and ease. But there comes an age when you just can't put a kid on a leash and the strategies for keeping toddlers close no longer work. When kids are starting to feel more independent yet are still young enough to get excited and distracted you need an alternative to the Child-Leash.

That's why I thought it would be good to share a few techniques that have worked for us to keep track of our kids in crowded or public places.

1. Talking Range - My favorite strategy came out of my desire to not be the Dad who was shouting hi skids names really loudly over and over. One day after having shouted the 50th time for the kids to stay close, I stopped them and said, "If I have to raise my voice above a loud talking level to get your attention, you won't be allowed to walk ahead of me." This turned out to be a good system and within a few minutes they had a good sense of how far ahead - or behind - they could stray. The reason I like this strategy so much is that it is adaptable to all kinds of situations and usually works out perfectly for both me and the kids because the louder and more bustling the situation, the closer I want them to be and the less distance they can go and still hear me.
2. Line of Sight - This one works best when the density of the crowd is minimal. Shopping centers, department stores and parks are good examples. Basically I just tell my kids that they can't go behind things or around corners from me. The key to this is establishing some kind of signal which means "come back now". If the signal is ignored by the child, instant revocation of independence occurs, usually accompanied by some other punishment like a time-out. However, with this one it is hard for me to stay calm for even a fraction of a second if I look around and can't see my daughter. When this happens (and it does) I stop myself, and count to ten while continuing to look in the direction I last saw her. Usually, something was blocking her from my sight like another parent or some other children and the counting allows a few seconds for her to re-appear.
3. The Satellite Strategy - This is great for giving kids a real sense of independence, but is also the hardest for me as a parent to get used to. This is really about educating kids as to what your own movements are going to be and then allowing them to venture outwards as long as they check back in periodically. The keys here are in setting boundaries ("don't leave the store", "stay in the Toon Town area" etc) and then establishing where you will meet up and when. The easiest is simply something like "Mom and I will be here at the café if you want to go on the Log Ride again, just come back afterward".


Mostly, each of these ideas depends on communicating with your child and adhering to the rules you have set up. I find it is powerful to stop the kids right at the entrance to the fair, shopping mall or whatever situation, and have a huddle where we lay out the plan.

Plan enforcement comes in the form of restricted freedom should one of the kids break the rules. One minute per year of age seems to be enough time of forced proximity or hand-holding to convince our independent minded kids to stick to the rules. Usually we don't have to actually get angry or shout at the kids for them to stick to the rules, simply removing privileges is enough to reinforce them.

Finally, in each situation, I try to give my kids a plan for what to do should the worst happen. Depending on the situation, we lay it out - "Find a person in one of those red vests and tell him you're lost", "Ask the person with the badge to help you", "Go to the checkout counter and wait for me".

Every day it seems there is a new parenting challenge and we have to come up with a new way to meet it. It is so important to encourage the growth of these small people without compromising our own needs for protecting them and keeping them happy. I hope these thoughts will be helpful to other parents.

Tom Pollock is a father of two and runs the parenting resource website:
http://www.parentopedia.com
He is also a licensed real-estate agent and helps underwater homeowners through:
http://www.floatmyhome.com

Specialized in: Child-leash Alternatives - Encouraging Independence - Older Kids
URL: http://www.parentopedia.com
Print article      Bookmark this page
Related Articles 
Selecting a Children's Party (Popularity: ): Everybody loves a party. In fact, it's probably true to say that we don't have enough parties. Think how much you enjoy parties whether you're throwing them or attending as guests. Children's parties are sometimes seen as something to be tolerated rather than enjoyed but they can be just as much fun. In fact children's parties are even better as you see the simple enjoyment that children can have.Get a ...
Teenagers and Energy Drinks (Popularity: ): Just as popular as coffee or soda, energy drinks are making a huge impact on sales of beverage stimulants. With sales of more than two billion dollars, energy drinks have developed a very loyal following. Many of the energy drinks on the market contain large amounts of caffeine which has been a major concern for parents, since teenagers are a big market segment for the energy drink category.By now most ...
How Can a Teen Make Money (Popularity: ): If you are a teen, it can be quite frustrating when trying to make money, especially around the ages from 15 up to 17. Why? Because it is at this age when your parents are probably begging for you to get a job. "Go fill out an application at McDonald's", "The deli is hiring, go check it out" are some of the tings parents might say when trying to motivate ...
3 Lucrative Businesses for Teens (Popularity: ): Who says teens only know how to do fun things? Today, you can be the youngest entrepreneur in your community or even in the entire world; and you do not have to quit school, give up parties and friends, or even stop yourself from growing up.Here are 3 lucrative businesses for you:1. Take a dog for a walk. If you have extreme love for dogs, and you would not mind ...
2 Great Preschool Polar Bear Activities (Popularity: ): In the United States, Polar Bears have become synonymous with Coca-Cola advertisements. We watch cute polar bears have parties and fun while drinking Coca-Cola soda in the Arctic. Preschool children need to understand that there is much more to polar bears and that they don't actually drink Coca-Cola!Preschool children will have a blast understanding the habitat, daily life, and true diet of polar bears. This article provides two preschool polar ...


Related Business 
Internet For Kids (Popularity: ): Find Kids safe Internet browser, Internet filter for children, free download, and Safe children browser at Candybrowsers.com. Provides safe and secure tool for kids to safely surf the net. Use our kid safe browser (Internet for Kids) for finding Educational Software for Kids, Learning Website for Kids and more. We offer best and safe browsers for using internet and protecting kids on Internet.
Karate For Kids (Popularity: ): Karate for Kids in sydney offers a safe, happy and encouraging environment where your children will learn self defence moves,self defence techniques,martial arts moves become stranger aware and learn how to deal with other kids at school as well as developing personal discipline and confidence while getting active!!
Self-Abuse Finally Ends (SAFE) Alternatives Program (Popularity: ): Safe Alternatives has been treating self-injurers since 1985 and is known as the "only US treatment center for cutters or other self-injurers."
B-Safe ID: ID Bracelets For Kids (Popularity: ): B-Safe ID was born out of the need to help reunite lost kids with their parents and guardians and to help authorities facilitate quick reunions. Both founders Laure and Sandra believe education, being alert, and conscientious parenting will aid in helping children be safe.
KIKS - Keeping Internet Kids Safe (Popularity: ): A small collection of articles about online safety topics, as well as some links, and newsletter archives.
National SAFE KIDS Campaign (Popularity: ): Promoting child safety to prevent unintentional injury.
Kids Town Pediatric Dentistry (Popularity: ): The playful doctors and staff of Kids Town Pediatric Dentistry have created a fun and calming environment where your child can feel comfortable. At Kids Town Pediatric Dentistry, we want to educate your child on proper hygiene, but also we create a positive experience so your child develops a love for brushing and flossing.
Experts of Child care or day care at Child care Ryde (Popularity: ): This is the child care Ryde where you can found experts of Pre School or day care. They are taking care of kids as their own kids or providing them homely environment and also provide fresh and healthy food for kids.
Kidspace Child Enrichment Center (Popularity: ): The goal of Kidspace Child Enrichment Center is to provide a warm, stimulating environment for each child that encourages the development of academic, physical and socialization skills, independence and a positive self-image.
Personalized Childrens Gifts (Popularity: ): Are you shopping for the BEST gift ever? Then choosing a Personalized book for kids from That's My Story is what you are looking for. A child's imagination is one of the most important ways they learn and grow. Personalized Books are a great way to help enhance a toddlers or young child's imagination, by making them the star in their very own storybook. Personalized Children's Books help your kids ...


 
 
Home | Top | Set as Homepage | Bookmark this Page | Privacy | Banners | Contact | Submit Article
© 2003-2010 ABC Directory. All Rights Reserved