Every parent needs time to recharge. Often, time away from the kids will be the difference between a surly parent and a cheery parent. The key to a truly relaxing vacation, however, is not just to leave your kids in safe hands, but also to train them about home safety.
Home safety is important to teach your kids but requires just a little extra planning. Here are some tips:
Get your kids a cell phone.
Buying your kids a cell phone doesn’t have to be permanent. Instead, you can get a prepaid phone for them while you are away, so they know they have instant access to you whenever they need – and not whenever the babysitter decides to call you.
Prepaid phones tend to cater to the kid market. As a result, many mobiles offer great parental controls including: what hours the phone can be used, what numbers to block, and even a GPS (at an additional charge per month).
Teach your kids to call you every night or whenever they need you. Reassure them that just because you are one vacation, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to hear from them.
About 75 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds in the U.S. own a mobile phone. However, parents explain that the main reason for buying their kids a cell phone is safety; they want to be able to reach each other anytime.
Advise your kids against sharing via social networks.
Kids forget that predators lurk on the Internet; the last thing you need is for them to advertise on Facebook or Twitter that you are away. If they do, they raise the chances of predators targeting your home for a break-in.
Last September, three New Hampshire men burglarized more than 18 homes in the Nashua area because they knew the homeowners wouldn’t be there. How did they know? The burglars had checked each residents’ Facebook status beforehand.
Encourage your kids to share what books they are reading, what music they are listening to or even their favorite TV shows. But make sure they aren’t sharing that you’re on vacation.
Review security protocols.
Your home security protocols will work – as long as everyone knows how to use them. As a result, it’s a good idea to review with both your kids and babysitter your security plan.
Remind your children to “stop, drop and roll” in the event of a fire. Teach them how to use the distress button on the home alarm system. Let them know who in your neighborhood has an extra to key to the house if they forget theirs.
Review everything. The last thing you want to ruin your vacation is a call from your 10-year-old saying he’s locked out of the house because he forgot the security code.
While you’re away, your kids will play – but make sure they are playing safely. Make sure that you can reach them or they can reach you at any time. Make sure your kids aren’t sharing too much information on the internet. And make sure they know what to do in the case of an emergency. Knowing that your kids are safe is the only way you’ll truly be able to enjoy your vacation.
[author] [author_info]About the Author
Sylvia is an online writer who enjoys writing about parenting, family lifestyles and how to keep them safe – such as purchasing the best home security systems.[/author_info]