In today’s society, good habits can often save you a lot of frustration and heartbreak. With security, a simple routine can often be the difference between your house being broken into, and your family home remaining safe and sound from intruders.
Routines are an excellent way to teach young children (and some adults) the importance of safety and security around the home.
Here are some great routines and tips to develop healthy habits around security with kids:
1) Picking up toys
This is a great habit to start at a young age. Not only does it teach kids that everything has a place, it also teaches them how to take responsibility for their possessions. Bikes or toys outside are an easy target for an opportunistic thief, so make sure the kids put them away.
By giving children jobs to do, it develops a sense of responsibility as they get older.
2) Locking the door properly
This is something simple you can start today. Teach your children how to lock and unlock a deadbolt. Take your time to teach the how and why a lock works. Teach how to lock both doors and windows properly.
3) Teach your children how to use an alarm
To get your kids to be more aware of security and develop good habits, start getting them involved with the basics of an alarm. If they are still young, make sure that they see you turn the alarm on and off.
If they are old enough, teach them how to use the alarm and why an alarm is important. Create a passcode that is easy for your children to remember.
A great way to have a habit stick is to create a routine of turning the alarm on when leaving the house or going to bed. Have a little saying every time you leave home. “Doors locked? Windows locked? Alarm on? Ok, Let’s go!”
4) Don’t answer the door or phone without an adult
If you choose to let your children answer the phone and door here are some things you should teach them.
If you children are home alone and they answer the phone, have them take a message. Your children should get the person’s name and phone number and write it down. Make sure your children understand never to tell the callers their name, phone number or address. Your kids should never state that you are not home. Teach them to say you are busy instead.
If you are not home and the door bell rings, the kids should not answer the door. If they are old enough, make sure your children talk through the door and don’t open it. They should follow the same rules to answering the phone. Consider getting a peephole so the children and yourself can see who is on the other side.
If the person doesn’t go away, teach your kids to either call a trusted neighbour or the police.
5) Teach the children how to respond in an emergency
Teaching your kids how to respond in an emergency is very important for their safety and security.
Teach your kids how to use a phone in an emergency. Have a list of numbers near the phone that they can call. These numbers can include 000, you and your husband’s mobile number, a nearby family member and a trusted neighbour.
Create and practice a safety drill for your family. Make sure the children understand what to do if there is a fire or an intruder. Teach them what to do in an emergency when you are not home.
6) Educate your kids about online safety
As technology becomes increasingly incorporated into our lives, it is important to teach our kids good safety and security when online.
Shared information can lead to home burglaries and other problematic situations, so make sure your kids understand why being safe is important when talking to people online.
If you and the family are going on holidays, I recommend not letting everyone know. Information shared online about upcoming holidays can be used by potential thieves to know when you are not home.
And lastly, make sure your children know not to let other people know when they are home alone.
7) Lead by example
Kids respond well to repetition and reinforcement. However, one of the main methods a child learns is through observing your everyday habits and behaviours. It is important that you develop good security habits yourself.
Lock all doors and windows on a regular basis and set the alarm as well. This should be done every time you leave home or go to bed.
Get the kids involved with this. At the very least you can get them make sure that their bedroom window is closed and locked.
8) Do a quick security check
Set yourself a small amount of time to do a quick check of your home’s security. The first thing your should do is check that you have locks on all your doors and windows. If you don’t, make sure you set time aside to get some installed.
Double check that your alarm is working. Make sure all sensors are working and the battery is fully charged.
The next step is to make sure that your front and back doors are made of solid wood or metal construction. It should be hard for an intruder to kick down your door.
Consider putting up generic security signs advertising that your home is secure. Don’t specify the make or model of the security system, you just want to let potential burglars that you home is secured.
Make sure anything of value is either stored away or not easily seen from the road.
And lastly, do a quick walk around your property and look for any potential hiding places such as bushes. Either remove the hiding places or trim back any shrubs. Bring little Miss or Mr along and see if they can find anything you missed. Ask the questions “If were a burglar, how would I get in”?
What routines do you have with your kids to keep them safe and secure at home? Please SHARE in the comments below.
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