POV: Empowering your children to keep them safe

• Listen to your child attentively so you don’t miss something.

We know better than to leave our kids in the car unattended, but have you ever engaged your child in conversation at the mall with a complete stranger who seemed so nice? Have you allowed a relative to tickle your child because it seemed harmless? Or perhaps you have directed your child to greet a friend or relative with a hug and kiss even though your child resisted? Have you ever dismissed a complaint from your child about another adult because that just couldn’t be true? These are just a few subtleties that reflect how critical our judgment is in preventing harm to our own children.

There is one very simple little thing you can do every single day that will help to ensure your child will not be one of those victims. Close each day with a quiet conversation with your child that begins with the question, “So, my dear, how was your day?” Of course your child will want you to share your day as well. This quiet time could be at the kitchen table, on the floor, knee-to-knee and eye-to-eye, or a part of the bedtime ritual.

This article originally appeared in the January issue of Captal District Parent Pages, where the authors pen the “Kitchen Table Time” column. The authors have a combined 75 years of teaching experience in kindergarten, first, second and third grade in area schools. Their book, “Kitchen Table Time: Recipes for Success” can be found at I Love Books in Delmar and The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland.

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