Not scare-mongering

My sons’ daycare hosted an event to train parent’s in the new safety curriculum. Hint to everyone: here’s how to get young parents to come to your event. Offer babysitting AND dinner. I probably wouldn’t have gone, otherwise, but that critical combination told me that they were serious. They really wanted me there. I heaved a sigh, and we went.

I consider my own parents some of the finest examples of the parenting genre. I wish I could bottle their parenting and uncork it onto my own kids. (Camp Gramp will have to do.) And my folks’ philosophy is usually described by my mom as “benign neglect”. Perhaps uncoincidentally, my childhood memories mostly include leisure, fun, exploration, etc. If my children had my childhood, I’d be delighted. My aspirational parenting philosophy would be to raise Free Range Kids, confident and capable to deal with what our safe, careful, child-friendly area has to offer in the way of real life. So I went to this training ready to do some serious eye-rolling to what I figured would be an inevitable histrionic over-reacting.

Well, color me impressed. The curriculum and training were done by the Committee for Children, with funding offered by a local business. (Wish I could remember who — they deserve credit!) They got off on exactly the right foot with me. Here’s how the introduction to a book to share with our kids put it, “This book will not frighten your child. It will give your child skills that will help make him or her strong. A strong, informed child is a safer child.”

Awesome. Fantastic. Let’s not wrap them in bubblewrap. Let’s not keep them inside forever. Let’s not hover. Let’s give them skills to make them safer! Sign me up.

And it just got better. The “touching saftey” chapter is one of about 17, with others being firearm safety, fire safety, kitchen safety, water safety… good stuff! And all very reasonable, centered and operating on the assumption that our kids could apply simple sense to stay safe. Plus, it gave we parents excellent language to use to talk about tough stuff, and they even showed us videos of parents superbly handling some of the hardest discussions a parent might have with their kids. It was extremely valuable training for us, and an excellent curriculum for them.

There is so much in the world that seems hysterical or divorced from reality – especially when it comes to kid’s safety. I thought I’d just take a moment to let you know: a private company is helping fund an excellent, sensible curriculum to teach our children how to navigate through the world instead of hiding them from it. Fantastic.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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