Routines are an excellent way to instaling good habits within children. At a young age, it is a great idea to start building constructive habits that can help a child as they grow into adolescence.
I was speaking to my locksmith the other day (I had recently locked myself out of my car) we got talking about home security. He is a father of two and he mentioned some great routines he has with his kids around home security and safety.
Picking Up Toys
This routine is an excellent way to build a sense of responsibility in your children. By putting their toys away, it teaches them to take responsibility of their possessions.
Bikes and toys left outside can be easily taken by an opportunistic thief. Teaching kids about putting stuff away can make them more security aware when they get older.
By giving a child important jobs, it gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership.
Show Them How To Use The Home’s Security
Kids can learn how to lock a door at a very young age. You can also show your kids how to use the alarm. If they are old enough, get them into the habit of arming and disarming the alarm everything your enter and exit your home. A easy to remember passcode can make it easier for the child to build this habit.
Create a routine of locking all doors, windows and putting on the alarm every time you leave home, or go to bed at night. My locksmith had developed a saying with his kids every time he left the home “Doors locked? Windows locked? Alarm on? Ok, Let’s GO!”
Don’t Answer The Phone Or Door Without An Adult Present
This is one I know most parents already have and it is a good habit to have with young kids.
When it comes to answering the phone, make sure you have clear rules for your children. If you aren’t home they should take a message and get the callers details. Your children will need to learn not to give any details out over the phone. If they caller asks to speak to their parents, they shouldn’t say they are home alone. Instead, they should say their parents are busy at the moment and can’t come to the phone.
This goes the same for answering the front door. They should never open the door when you are not with them. For an added sense of security consider installing a peephole so you and the kids can see who is at the door.
If the person at the door doesn’t go away, the children should call a trusted neighbour or nearby friend. If they really feel in danger they should know to call the police.
Teach Your Kids How To Respond In An Emergency
If you have young children, teach them how to use the phone. Have a list of emergency numbers including emergency services, neighbours and your mobile phone, and stick these details near the phone. Teach your children how to call for help and where the numbers are.
A lot of parents I know have an emergency drill. This is mainly for fires and general safety. You can also teach you kids how to get out of the house in the case of an emergency, and go to the closest neighbour if you are not home iwht them.
In my local suburb, neighbourhood watch is very popular among many of the families. Consider joining in.
Teach You Kids About Social Media
As your children get older, they will likely become socially active online. As a parent, it is up to you to teach them good safety and security habits and they understand why.
Kids are less reserve when sharing information online. If they are not careful this sharing of information can lead to burglaries and other unwanted situations.
If the kids are home alone, or you are going on holidays, make sure the kids understand why they shouldn’t share this online. If someone knows that you aren’t home, they may take full advantage of this.
Lead By Example
This is by far the most important thing you can do to encourage and build good habits in your children. Children learn most things by watching your every behaviour and baits.
When it comes to home security, make sure you lock all your windows and doors regularly. Get the children involved with the home’s security and safety.
Do A Home Security Check
This is something you can do today to make sure your home is secure from intruders.
Check you home and car to make sure they are safe and secure.
Make sure all of your home’s entrances are safe and secure and your alarm is working. If you don’t have locks on all windows and doors, make sure to get that fixed as soon as possible.
If you have things of value such as a new wide screen TV or cash and jewellery, make sure it isn’t visible from the street.
If you have a spare key don’t have it hiding under a pot plant or back door mat. Give it to a trusted neighbour if you want a spare available for emergencies.
Put your car away in the garage. If you are like me, and don’t have a spare car key, consider getting a replacement car key cut just in case you lock yourself out. My locksmith was a great help with this.
Walk around your home and ask yourself “If I were a burglar, how would I get in?” Get the kids involved and see what their imagination can come up with.