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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 52: Teach them for life

Problem: Your children are getting older, and you are doing more and more activities with them that require you all to wander far from your home. What if one gets separated. If they can talk, they're old enough to know to say a few key things to people should they, God forbid, get lost.

Solution: Teach them their name. Their full names. First and last. You can do this by calling them by their full names a few times a day. My husband plays a game with them when he comes home from work, where he'll ask them important questions in the form of a game. They have to come up with the answer, and if they can't, he goes over it with them. The first question on this list is "what is your name." Lilly and Dulce aren't good enough for this game. They need both names.

Problem: A name won't give someone a location or way to reach you, should something happen. It's a start, but if you can get your children to understand that they have an address and a phone number, you'll cut down on the time it takes for them to find you.

Solution: If you have numbers on your mailbox or apartment door, ask the kids to identify them every time you come home. They'll be learning letters and numbers anyway, so they'll get to know that a certain combination equals their address. At least, they'll understand that it's important. Phone numbers are tougher. We haven't been able to get them to memorize an entire phone number yet, but I plan on doing so with songs and games. If they can recite the alphabet song, they can recite a ten-digit phone number. I just have to work on it.  Three is old enough to be helpful in an emergency situation. If your child has a few things she knows to do when she's lost or hurt, that will also give her some power over the situation and may help calm her fears until you can find her again.

All this being said, let's hope they never have to use the knowledge.

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  1. Easy to apply ideas! When our daughter we moved several times. Part of helping her learn new addresses and phone numbers was setting them to songs. We could sing them in the car.

  2. Just to be on the safe side, if we were at a big place where it was easy to get lost, I would always write my cell phone number on their arm under their sleeve with a Sharpie! My kids were never really wanderers but it made me feel a lot better.



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