Parenting is not easy.....
Parenting or caring for children and young people in this day and age can feel daunting - the world can feel full of risks and dangers, many that we didn’t face when we were young ourselves.
Adur and Worthing are very safe places to live but like everywhere in the UK, there is still a possibility that children and young people will come across situations and circumstances where they might be at risk of harm, either from adults or even other children.
The best thing we can do as parents and carers is to talk to our children, to take time to explore with them, what their life is like online and offline. It is easy to jump into trying to tell children what is right and wrong, but for children and young people, it is a lot less clear - what they see, hear and talk about can feel “normal” to them, even if as adults we might feel concerned.
Feel as though your child may benefit from some one to one bespoke mentoring, click here to to see what we offer.
Keeping young people safe - top tips for parents
There is no escaping the role of phones and the online world in our childrens lives, they have never known a world without them… phones can open up a whole new world - good and bad. Work out the ground rules for having access to this new world, including checking who your children are talking to. It is not just adults that can cause children harm - other children can, and do, cause harm to other children. This can include encouraging children to do “favours” which can actually be connected to criminal activities such as concealing drugs, money or weapons.
Make a plan with your child - talk through various scenarios and ask them what they would do if they became worried or scared whilst out and about. Where would they go for help? Who are the safe adults they could speak to? When would they call the police if they saw something they were worried about?
Help your child prepare some phrases and tactics to use when in a difficult situation - they can say things like “My mum tracks my phone, I can’t do anything without her seeing it” or create a code word they can use to let you know they feel unsafe/uncomfortable whilst they are out and about.
Make an effort to get to know the parents of your children’s friends - this is easy when children are younger but much harder once they get to High School. You can do this casually, for example asking for the other parents’ numbers to thank them for having your child over or to check an arrangement and see if you can offer any help, e.g. sharing pick-ups and drop-offs.
It can seem like teenagers are talking a different language and they are! Urban Dictionary is your friend! This website will tell you the meaning of most words and phrases, giving you clues on whether it is anything to be concerned about.