Sunday, May 1, 2011

Things to do this month - May

Focus on children month

___ 1) Check out your child’s bicycle/sports helmet and ensure that it fits properly. Of course if the helmet is damaged or too small, it will need to be replaced immediately.

___ 2) Discuss ways that your child could escape from the house if it was on fire and hold a fire drill.

___ 3) Teach your child how to perform CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver.

___ 4) Make sure that your child has the proper infant/booster seat and that it is installed properly.

___ 5) Monitor your child’s internet activity. Install parental control software, place their computer in a public location in your home, explain to them the dangers that lurk on the internet and monitor what they put on their website or My Space page.

___ 6) Teach your child how to call 911, how to report an emergency and when calling 911 is appropriate.

___ 7) Ride with your teenage driver for a day. Check out their driving skills, note areas for improvement and give positive feedback on what they do right.

___ 8) Working with your child, pack a seven-day emergency supplies bag for each of you that includes food, water, shelter, clothing, personal supplies, etc.

___ 9) Devise a secret password to use with your child and discuss scenarios when this word may be used.

___ 10) For one day, challenge your entire family to eat only healthy, unprocessed foods. Teach your children the difference between processed and unprocessed foods, and between healthy and unhealthy food choices.

___ 11) Teach your child how to escape from a stranger. Allow them to practice yelling for help (you may want to warn the neighbors prior to this), and how to hit and kick (with a punching bag).

___ 12) Check out your child’s summer sporting goods (bicycles, roller blades, life jackets, etc) and make sure all fit correctly and are in good working order.

___ 13) Make an info sheet for your child which includes pertinent information including name, birthday, social security number, height, weight, a recent photo and fingerprints and keep this in a secure location.

___ 14) Take your kids on a safety hunt through your home. Identify and correct hazards such as fire hazards in the garage, unlocked chemicals and medications, loose handrails on the stairs, etc.

___ 15) Teach your child how to protect their health. Of course make sure their vaccinations are up to date, but also include lessons on hand washing, covering their cough, and to eat and exercise for optimum wellness.

___ 16) When you are out in public with your child play the “what if” game. What if we get separated, where would you go and who would you ask for help? What if there was an earthquake right now, where is a safe place to protect yourself? What if a stranger comes up and asks for your help when you are with your friends?

___ 17) Teach your kids about drugs and alcohol. If they don’t learn this important information from you, they will probably learn (incorrectly) from their friends.

___ 18) Spend time each day sharing an activity with your child. Whether reading a book, cooking a meal, helping with homework or watching the news together, this time will allow you to keep the lines of communication open. Encourage them to discuss their concerns with you and make it your business to bring your concerns (ie: they seem depressed, stressed out, etc) to them.

___ 19) Laminate an info card for your child that includes their name, address, phone number, allergies, contact information for their parents, as well as contact information for a trusted friend or relative. Have your child always carry this card with them.

___ 20) Make sure your child learns appropriate safety information for the activities they are likely to participate in (ie: if your family enjoys boating they should know how to boat safely, if you have a horse they should practice safe riding skills).
___ 21) Prepare your child for disasters that are most likely to happen in your area (ie; what to do during an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane depending on what part of the country you live in.
___ 22) Increase your child’s safety by setting clear safety guidelines which include age-appropriate activities, always knowing where they are and who they are with, reasonable curfews, and clear expectations.

___ 23) School shootings are, unfortunately, growing more common. Know what kind of policy your child’s school has in place for this type of incident and volunteer to participate in their school safety drills.

___ 24) Teach your child about gun safety and use common sense precautions with the weapons in your home.

___ 25) Make sure you child knows how to swim and how to protect themselves around water (ie: pools, lakes, oceans, etc).

___ 26) Encourage your child to participate in activities that build their self esteem. Confidence and a high self esteem go a long way towards heading off a variety of social/peer-pressure problems.

___ 27) Volunteer with your child’s school, sports teams, etc so that you will have a very good idea of what is going on with your child.

___ 28) Take your child camping/backpacking and teach them wilderness survival skills.

___ 29) Let your child plan and lead family activities. This teaches them a variety of useful skills that they will use throughout their life.

___ 30) Teach your child how to be money smart. Teach them about saving, investing and spending money wisely.

___ 31) Teach your child how to earn money. Teach them good work skills, entrepreneurial skills and social skills so that they will always be able to support themselves.

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