Adolescence is a time of discovery and challenges, but it also comes with responsibilities. We believe, it’s crucial that your teenager understands aspects related to their well-being and safety and to remind them that although they’re getting older, they are not immune to danger. With greater freedom, they may encounter various threats and should always remain vigilant. 

Here are some tips to help maintain your teen’s safety: 

Tip #1: Foster Compassionate Communication 

Encourage your teenager to share their experiences, concerns, and questions. Creating an environment conducive to problem-solving fosters mutual trust, allowing your teen to turn to you when needed. Schedule regular discussions where everyone can freely express their concerns and experiences. 

Tip #2: Ensure Internet Safety 

Raise your teenager’s awareness of the risks associated with Internet and social media use. Teach them to protect their personal information, recognize risky or inappropriate behaviours, and adopt a respectful and responsible attitude online. Additionally, be sure to understand the platforms and apps they use to better guide them in their online interactions. 

Tip #3: Teach Boundary Setting and Respect 

Educate your teenager about consent and the importance of setting boundaries. Remind them to trust their instincts and not hesitate to say NO if they feel uncomfortable, even in the presence of an adult or friend. Encourage them to express their preferences and boundaries clearly and assertively in all situations, whether social, academic, or familial. 

Tip #4: Establish Clear Rules 

Collaboratively establish rules with your teenager to ensure their safety. Have a dialogue and explain the importance of these rules while emphasizing mutual trust. Here are some examples of safety rules: 

  • Keep you informed about their whereabouts and return time. 
  • Immediately communicate with you in case of emergency. 
  • Always carry identification when outside the house. 
  • Inform you of any external appointments, such as job interviews, and provide details. 
  • Avoid traveling alone at night and stay in well-lit public areas. 
  • Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers. 
  • Stay vigilant in case of suspicious behaviour. 

Tip #5: Ensure Familiarity with Locations and Emergency Numbers 

Teach your teenager emergency numbers, available resources, and emergency procedures in case of danger. Conduct emergency simulation exercises at home to prepare them to react effectively when needed. Additionally, encourage them to know safe locations near their school, home, and frequented places. 

In conclusion, your teenager’s personal safety is crucial for their development. By providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and confidence, you help them stay safe and lay the foundation for a fulfilling adult life. In addition to the above tips, consider exploring safety training programs, self-defence workshops, or online resources to further enhance their personal safety skills. 

The Missing Children’s Network offers a series of prevention workshops throughout the year. For more information, contact us at 514 843-4333.