Kidpower Safety Tips for Parents

Written by Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder and Executive Director

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To help kids be safe from bullying, violence, and abuse, teach them to:

Stay Aware. Notice people, animals, cars, bicycles, & buses. Pay attention to sounds, smells, & sights. Be aware of everything going on around you.

Move Away From Trouble. If you notice anything that doesn’t feel safe, leave, and go to adults who can help you.

Act Calm & Confident. People will listen to you more and bother you less when you act calm, firm, and respectful, not scared or mad.

Use Stranger Safety Habits.

  • Younger kids: Check First with your adults before going close or talking to people or animals you don’t know well.
  • Older kids: Think First. If you’re not sure, move away toward safety.

Stick to the Plan. Check First with your adults before you change the plan about where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re doing.

Let Go of Your Stuff. If you need to leave behind or hand over a bag, phone, wallet, etc, in order to be safe, then let it go! Fighting over stuff can be unsafe. You are much more important than your things.

Speak Up. If something bothers you, say so. Know how to say “Please stop.” Tell adults you trust about anything that bothers you.

Use Words Safely. Saying, emailing, texting, or IMing mean words, even if someone else did it first, makes problems bigger.

Protect Your Feelings. Notice mean words without taking them in. Practice catching them & throwing them away. Talk with an adult you trust.

Get Help. You deserve to feel safe at home, at school, and everywhere you go. Tell – and keep telling – adults you trust about safety problems.

Put Safety First. Being polite, kind, and respectful is important, but being safe is more important than being polite, kind, and respectful.

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About the Author

Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder and Executive Director
Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe, the Kidpower Safety Comics series, the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults, and The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People.
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