Jump, yell, role-play, color and craft – these personal safety workshops are empowering and lots of fun. Pattie Fitzgerald of Safely Ever After, Inc. makes it her mission to help parents tackle the tricky stuff in an easy and engaging way by offering interactive workshops for both parents and kids that teach smart strategies to keep little ones safe.
Workshops for Parents and Kiddos
Since 2001, highly respected children’s advocate, Pattie Fitzgerald, has been teaching Child Safety Awareness to parents, caretakers and tots. Unlike other safety programs around LA, her Safely Ever After curriculum focuses on empowerment (no fear here!) and covers so much more than just the “stranger danger” tips we learned as kids. Workshops are designed to be interactive and incorporate humor to help parents and tikes retain what they’re learning. At the end of the day, families come away with a common sense approach to child safety that really works.
Want to start with you? Pattie’s popular adult seminar, “An Ounce of Prevention” teaches parents how to recognize signs and best minimize risks to kiddos at different ages. If you’re ready for her to talk directly to your kids (a great option, since we all know kids tend to listen better to people other than their parents), her “Kidz Power” seminar (for littles aged 4-8) teaches kids the safety rules, how to spot a “tricky person” and how to be the boss of their own bodies. This is the class where kids get interactive – jumping, yelling and role playing to their heart’s content. (For example: Teach your kids what to do in public if they can’t see you, which is freeze, and yell for their grown up. Then practice. Have the kids run around and then you duck out of sight. As soon as they realize they can’t see you, they have to freeze and then get to yell for you at the top of their lungs.) After the class, they receive cool coloring pages, bookmarks and stickers to bring home and reinforce what they’ve learned.
Getting Started At Home
Start by talking with your kids about the safety rules your family has. (See Safely Ever After’s Super 10 Safety Rules for Kids and Grown-ups). One great tip is to share the rules in small increments with tots; going slowly and not teaching everything at once helps them retain what you’re talking about.
Another is to keep the conversation positive. Kiddos are not developmentally mature enough to understand how to identify a “tricky stranger,” so it’s more important to begin teaching them proactive safety rules that show them what to do in different situations.
Use words and concepts that are meaningful to kids. Simple ideas like “Trust your Instincts” and “Always ask Mommy” are easy to learn, remember and actually use. This method empowers kids and is far more effective than telling a child not to talk to strangers.
Practice makes perfect – reinforce your family safety rules often and find teachable moments to talk about a particular rule or idea. If you keep the conversation light and empowering, your tikes will learn about safety without ever becoming afraid of the world.
To schedule a workshop with Pattie, visit safelyeverafter.com. Also, check out Pattie’s fantastic books, “NO Tresspassing – This is MY Body!” and “Super Duper Safety School: Safety Rules for Kids and Grown-Ups” available on amazon.com or safelyeverafter.com.
What important tips do you give your kiddos about staying safe? We’d love to hear!
Photo Credit: Safely Ever After, Inc.