Parents face a lot of difficult tasks, but perhaps one of the hardest issues they have to deal with is teaching their children about the dangers that lurk in everyday situations. From crossing the street to using public restrooms, dangers lurk around every corner, and it’s important for parents to educate their children about these hazards so that they know how to navigate them properly.
While topics like stranger danger, drug use and bullying may be uncomfortable to approach, ignoring them can lead to dangerous repercussions. Children could end up learning about these – and other – everyday dangers the wrong way, or even worse, they could end up becoming victims of these dangers.
So how can parents approach these hard subjects in a way that isn’t uncomfortable, and in a way that will allow their children to comprehend valuable lessons? – Through reading. There are dozens of picture books, chapter books, fairy tales and other types of books that focus on teaching kids about the dangers that are associated with everyday life. Read on to learn how reading with your children can teach them how to properly handle dangerous situations.
The Benefits of Reading
From separation anxiety to stranger danger, there are tons of books that focus on hazards that children will encounter throughout their lives. Books present these topics in a way that children can really relate to them. They also teach valuable lessons that children will have an easier time understanding.
How to Use Stories to Teach Valuable Lessons
Of course, you are going to want to read the story to your child; however, take the opportunity to really interact with the content to ensure your child digests the lesson that the story is trying to teach.
Ask your child questions about the story and try to have them relate situations to their own lives. Talk about things that happened to the characters and whether or not the decisions that the characters made were the best way to handle the situations they were confronted with. For example, if you are reading Snow White, you might ask your child if Snow White was wise to eat the apple that the stranger presented her with. Discuss your child’s response and ask whether or not he or she should accept food or other “gifts” that strangers may offer. Talk about the dangers that could be associated with those “gifts.”
After reading a story, offer your child activities that will foster a deeper understanding of the lessons that were taught. Doing so will allow your child to really relate the lesson to his or her own life. For instance, after reading the book The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings, which teaches children to focus less on material items and more on the blessings in their life (family, friends, shelter, food, etc,) you might have your children create a blessings basket. Have them write the things that are blessings in their lives (their home, their clothing, their family, for example) on slips of paper and place each paper into a basket. Whenever they start focusing on material goods, pull out the blessings basket and read the blessings they filled it with to remind them what’s really important in life.
Reading is such a powerful tool for teaching children valuable life lessons, especially lessons concerning everyday dangers. You won’t believe how much knowledge your children will gain!
About the Author
Cassie Brewer is a health professional in Southern California. In her free time, she enjoys writing about her passion (healthy living of course!). Nothing makes her happier than helping other be the best version of themselves they can be. You can read more at cassiebrewer.weebly.com and follow her on twitter @Cassiembrewer