By Melinda Reynolds Tripp

We begin teaching children, quite early, how to stay safe.  We tell children, “The fire is hot, keep back, you could get burned.”  We teach them to use a railing when walking down steps, so they don’t  fall.  Later it is necessary to  begin teaching a more general safety plan,  with tailored life lessons in safety.  This will give them an umbrella plan that they will use to help them through the situations that will confront them during their lives.
The lessons taught will be repeated, honed , added to, and practiced for ages 5-13. For parents and teachers situational safety will continue to be a necessary part of teaching as their children and students grow.  They can teach children the skills they need to take on the bad behaviors of others (from young bullying on the playground through the underworld of human trafficking) and situations that are potentially threatening, allowing them to use their plan to act quickly and safely.  If a child is constantly aware of their surroundings, they will be on the lookout for situations that can be avoided.
A child who is in a safe place with their trusted adults are on what I call green light, and can relax and safely “tune out” the world around them.  All people,of any age, who are out and about in the world need to be aware of the world around them, people and the behaviors around them.  This is what we call yellow light, a time to be on alert, and prepared to act.  What then does Red light look like? This is when someone is actively getting to a safe place.  They have acted quickly and used  their observation skills, so they can tell a trusted adult.; are able to describe, people, areas, situations and objects readily, so that the trusted adult.
Get, What Should Do? today.  You can be empowering your child with simple, and easy to use strategies tomorrow.
Turn a child’s “fight time into flight time,” making your child just too much trouble to take.

Melinda Reynolds Tripp
Safety Author/ Educator/ Speaker
Author of What Should You Do? Helping Children Protect Themselves in the Twenty-First Century, Tate Publishing 2010
Melinda Tripp has taught children since graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1978.
She has taught in preschools, elementary  school, and  gone on to teach safety assemblies to over 100,000 students, parents and teachers.  When a child in her elementary school was in an attempted abduction, Melinda attempted to find a parent /teacher friendly curriculum that could be tailored to meet the individual needs of all children.  Melinda is married, the mother of two adult daughters and Nana to three wonderful grandchildren. Learn more about Melinda here

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