I wrote this post before I heard about the horrific tragedy that occurred at the Newton School in Connecticut. My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families. Sometimes, even in the places that we view the “safest” for our kids, events like this occur that are unthinkable. My heart feels heavy for all of those affected by this massacre.
Mealtime is an ideal opportunity to discuss important topics with your children such as safety. I always discuss this topic with own children to help prepare them for situations that may not be safe. Be Careful and Stay Safe by Cheri J. Meiners is one of my favorite books within the collection of Learning to Get Along Series by Free Spirit Publishing. This book, which is geared towards readers 4 and up is an educational and resourceful book about staying safe and being careful in a variety of situations. Each page takes you through situations such as listening to grown ups when near electronic appliances such as a toaster, being aware of things that can hurt them (such as fire, knives, etc) and staying with your grown up when in the community. Take time to read this book to your children while they eat. They will absorb the material well which can lead to many important and interesting conversations. Ask lots of different “wh” questions such as “What would you do if a stranger talked to you?” and talk about how your child would feel in different situations (e.g. scared if they got lost). Role play and work on problem solving. Be Careful and Stay Safe also includes very helpful tips and carryover activities in the back of the book.