Getting lost in a crowd in a place that you’re barely familiar with can be quite a scary and heart-pounding experience. Not knowing where you are or where to go can often be a traumatic memory that stays with us forever. Even the most experienced adult feels a bit of trepidation at the notion of displacement. The feeling is intensified as a minor. For adults, all they have to do is search on their phone Where Am I Right Now and they will get the exact location of their whereabouts. This is not the same for children who are also dealing with the panic and anxiety of being surrounded by hundreds or thousands of strangers.
Children acting scared and throwing tantrums could also prove to be a dangerous feat as it can alert evildoers that there is an unsupervised kid at point-blank range. This is why it is necessary to teach your kids what to do when they get lost. It may seem like a dark lesson but it is still better to be prepared than to suffer hours upon hours of panic-induced anxiety.
Here are some tips to teach your kid what to do should they get separated from you.
This is pretty much the first rule of parenting. Before leaving the house with your kid, especially once they start walking, you should ensure that they have memorized some of the most important details to get them identified. Your child should know your full name, their full name, your phone number, and your address. If they still cannot speak or is unable to memorize these important information, write it down and let them wear it as a bracelet. Remind them to show it to a trustworthy adult like a guard or a store employee. Putting it inside their pocket may also work. Make sure that they are aware of this special note and what to do with it should you get separated.
Giving a kid an emergency phone is probably one of the best ways to ensure that you find them quickly after they get separated from you. If your child is old enough to know how to operate the basics of a phone then this is definitely a sure way of contacting them. Just a few tips, make sure that they always have it on them and that they know how to contact you. Also, get them a phone that has the basic call and messaging function and not much else. A flashy smartphone on the hands of an innocent, vulnerable child without adult supervision can easily get stolen and even put your kid in danger. Put your number on speed dial or have a note with your number written inside their pockets so they know which number to call.
The lesson Never Talk To Strangers is an appropriate message to teach kids. Unfortunately, this could cause your kids to be deathly afraid of strangers. Instead of asking for help which could quicken the process of you finding them, they run away and make the situation worse.
Teach your kids to know who to go to for help. Security guards, uniformed personnel, store employees, and mothers with their own children are just some of the best people they can ask for help. Tell them to provide their details immediate so as to contact you right away.
Should you get separated, the most common mistake that children do is that they wander off making the entire situation worse both for you and for them. Ingrain in your kids that should a scenario happen where they get lost and they can’t find you, they should stay on that spot. Have them find a spot where they can sit and just relax. If in a half an hour, you still haven’t appeared, then they should find help.
When going to a crowded place where there is a high chance of getting separated with your kids, make sure that you assign a contingency meeting place. This is to ensure that you have a destination where you can go should an unfortunate event happen. Make sure that the meeting place is easy to navigate towards and is a safe place for a kid. A familiar, well-lit diner with friendly staff is definitely one of the best places to meet at after getting separated.
The first thing that your kid must learn after getting separated from you is to keep a cool head. Getting frazzled will not do any positive results. In fact, panicking will definitely just add to your frustrations and make the situation so much worse. Teaching your children to stay collected in the face of distress will definitely pay off in the long run. In fact, this can be an important life lesson that might stay with them forever.