When I was a contributor for Kids Safety Network, I wrote many articles on current events – mostly safety concerns with children. Honestly I struggled with reading my Google News Alerts every morning because most often it contained stories of children getting hurt. This ultimately lead me to take some time away from contributing more articles and to focus more on Mommy Engineering with uplifting, positive and yet knowledgeable, creative content.
I was happy that this next guest post from Zara Lewis peaked my interest as I still get current news alerts on children and found many articles on toddlers and young kids getting hurt, sometimes even killed, in parking lots. I believe it’s so important to try and teach our kids traffic safety and the more kids you have, the harder it is to keep them all in one place. I have two toddlers and they love to run away from me in our neighborhood, in stores, and definitely in parking lots. Zara did a wonderful job on this post with real life examples with personal experiences. Thank you Zara!
The Essential Guide for Teaching Your Kids about Road Safety Rules
As bright and curious as kids are, there are certain situations such as traffic that they cannot fully comprehend while they are still very young, which means that we as parents need to put in extra effort to teach our kids independence while staying safe.
While this certainly presents a challenge, especially for novice moms and dads, there are a few fun, safe and memorable ways you can help your kids learn about the most important traffic rules and practice with them until they adopt this new behavior before you face the real world situations together.
Have a Pre-Ride Learning Session
Once your kids start walking about independently and they no longer use a child seat in the car, you will need to help them understand some of the most important rules of behavior in the car as well as outside. One of the most useful tools you can use are YouTube videos on road safety, cartoons that have traffic situations explained well, as well as books and short stories. To make it as interactive as possible, encourage your kids to ask questions, and you can ask them some questions too, in order to establish how much they can guess and know already. We’ve also found some videos showing clever animals and how they are careful when crossing the street, which was particularly appealing to our daughter. Talking to them can do wonders, just make sure to keep the lessons brief, clear and to the point.
Turn it into a Role Play Scenario
Having a boy and a girl can sometimes make things difficult in terms of finding the learning medium that both of them would like. For instance, our little girl adores animals, and she would be happy to pay attention to an animal puppet show for a full hour, while our son is crazy about superheroes. So, we had to get creative! Not only did we use the Halloween costumes, but we also made an improvised Superman costume and gave him a pet dog so that both of our kids would be happy and eager to listen. Then, we played out several situations in which kids were supposed to evaluate and correct the behavior by both the Superman and his dog. The dog, for example, had trouble learning how to look both ways before crossing the street, and the kids started yelling immediately to correct this mistake.
Create a Realistic Situation
Another way kids can learn through play is by using a real-life situation as an inspiration to teach them not only some of the most important rules of the traffic, but also to be able to evaluate their behavior in any given circumstances. For example, I’ve used my trusty black swegway and gave each of my kids a tricycle to ride around in our backyard as if we were, in fact, driving together in the city. They would take part in creating the streetlights and parking spots with boxes, while we always had some errands to run to make things interesting and keep the kids occupied while they revise their rules. They even started announcing what they were about to do, so that they could teach their uncle the rules (he only pretended he didn’t know, I promise!) and they even asked for switching their roles and asked more and more questions with each play session.
Be Their Role Model Early On
However, although all of these fun as well as serious learning sessions have been exceptionally productive, and our kids have learned most of these things very intuitively, I believe that the most important role of the parent is to set an example. My husband and I have had to learn a whole bunch of rules upon moving from Australia to the US, so our kids, in fact, witnessed their parents learning about these important regulations from scratch. Whenever we’re riding together, I ask them questions to check their knowledge, I encourage them to evaluate my driving skills, and we always make sure to revise the most important rules every time we are about to leave the car together. Simply being a careful participant of traffic sets a solid example for your kids from an early age, so that they can rely on your behavior and copy it, as they do in many other life situations.
About Zara Lewis
Zara Lewis is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.
Things to Consider
What suggestions do you have about teaching your kids road safety?
Which tip from Zara did you really connect with and appreciate the most?
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