Every parent worries their child will run into the street from the yard or sidewalk, and every parent takes steps to prevent this, often spanking when children make for the open road.
Children love to explore forbidden territory and find out for themselves what all the fuss is about. The more you make the road into a forbidden place, the more your child will want to explore it.
It is not worth it to spank or hurt your child because you are afraid they will be harmed by a car or killed. You are essentially hurting your child instead.
Try these methods to keep your child safe instead of scolding or spanking.
- Change your approach. Instead of telling your child not to go onto the street, tell them to stay on the sidewalk. Avoid creating forbidden areas. Point out the road is for cars and the sidewalk for people.
- Use examples. Draw attention to the people and point out the fact that people all use the sidewalk, not the road. if your child questions you when you cross the street, explain there are special places for people to cross the street and draw attention to the crosswalk marker.
- Hold hands. Hold your child’s hand while on the sidewalk and when crossing the street. It may not be necessary to ask your child to hold hands; just take your child’s hand or hold out yours and see if your child takes it. You might set a rule that everyone holds hands on the sidewalk. If you begin with this rule when your child is young, they will be less likely to question it since it is the way things have always been. You can meet “whys” by telling your child you always hold hands on the sidewalk and affirm this is the way things are.
Connection is important between parent and child. Keep your parent-child relationship healthy and strong, and stay safe.