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July 21, 2017 // WorkLife Wisdom: Summer Safety Conversations with Your Child or Teenager

It may be difficult for parents to discuss serious topics such as predators and safety with a child or teenager. It also can be difficult for a child or teenager to communicate with an adult about sensitive topics that may be uncomfortable or even dangerous.

The FAA WorkLife Solutions Program is available to help guide you when you are preparing to have such difficult, but vital conversations about your child’s safety. They offer resources that can help you be open and honest, while also being sensitive to the age of the child with whom you will have the safety conversation.

This guidance is meant to empower both you and your child. Below are tips to share and to discuss with your child or teen about staying safe:

  • Your child needs to hear from you that he/she is so special to you that you don’t want anyone hurting or touching them in any way.
  • Your child should never be forced to kiss or accept touches from anyone.
  • Your child needs to know the correct terms for his/her body parts, to consider them private areas of their body, and that no one is allowed to touch them.
  • Teach your child to say NO or STOP.
  • Monitor your child’s computer use, especially regarding any chat programs that they use.
  • Never let young children go into a public restroom by themselves. Counsel them to always go with someone.
  • Don’t put your child’s name on the outside of their clothes or carry items with their name on the outside.
  • Tell your child to NEVER take a ride from someone without checking first with you. 
  • Tell your child to always trust their feelings and gut instincts about a person or situation. If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong.
  • Teach your child or teen that their voice is an effective weapon. Yell loudly if in danger. (In this situation, it is okay to make noise).
  • Create safety plans and scenarios with your child.
  • Keep the dialogue going and make safety a common topic in your interactions. 
  • In case of an emergency, be sure your child knows their full name, address, and phone number and those of adults who are trustworthy.

You can learn more at http://childprotection.lifetips.com. Your WorkLife Solutions Program’s free counseling resources can provide you and your child someone to talk to about issues pertaining to their safety, especially if uncomfortable situations arise. You will have access to speaking with a clinician via phone or in-person. In addition to speaking to a master level clinician, please visit www.magellanhealth.com/member or call 800-234-1327 (TTY 800-456-4006) for more information.

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