Are your children equipped to manage and make decisions when you aren’t present?
When my son was 4-years-old last year and we had a small fire in the kitchen, I wondered the same thing.
I was at home with him of course but when his dad was busy trying to put the fire out and I was anxious to remove my son from the house, he froze and didn’t know what to do.
At first he ran back to his room to turn the television off!
Then he just looked confused and scared when I asked him repeatedly to put his coat and shoes on and step outside.
When I finally got him outside and to safety, we put the fire out and I suddenly felt like a horrible parent. We never even practiced fire drills at home, I thought to myself. If we had, maybe he would’ve known not to run back into his room and turn things off; he would have just ran for the door, I chastised myself.
But I don’t think we’re very different from other parents. Like most parents I know, I spent most of my time helping my preschooler learn the alphabet and how to spell his name. On a good day when everything was fine, practicing fire drills at home doesn’t normally cross your mind.
Yet, teaching them some of these “other” things is important.
As parents, we won’t be by our child’s side 24/7 – so, it is is crucial that we teach them how to be street smart. It’s just as important to teach them how to behave and interact with the world around them as it is to teach them how to excel academically.