Is your children’s school within walking distance of your home?
Are you driving your kids to school every morning and picking them up after school?
Did you know that statistics show that more children die in car accidents than when walking to school? Shocking, isn’t it? We’re afraid to let the kids out of our sight, when the latest reports show that this is the safest time in history for children. We’re afraid of strangers abducting or assaulting our children when fewer kids than ever before are being abducted or kidnapped, and it is people they know, relatives, acquaintances and even friends, who are kidnapping kids.
If you knew that walking to school would help your child, would you consider it?
Here are five reasons to teach your children to walk to school:
1. You promote independence and confidence in your kids, lessening their fear of the outside world. (If you are fearful, chances are that they are as well.)
2. You help them to be more active, resulting in improved physical fitness.
3. You show them you trust them, increasing their sense of self-worth.
4. You provide a means of increasing their social development, as they make friends with other kids in the neighborhood.
5. You are helping them to focus and concentrate better at school.
Now is the time to start to train your children. Some steps to take:
1. Begin by walking the route to school with them.
2. Teach them how to cross a street by waiting at the curb, looking both ways and starting across when the coast is clear.
3. Talk about the difference between people they know and people they don’t know. Tell them what to do when meeting people or animals who are unfamiliar.
4. Show them how to get help if needed from trusted locations (Neighborhood Watch houses, familiar stores) or adults they know.
5. Make sure they have your address and phone number on a card in their backpacks.
6. Walk the route daily until you are sure they know the rules and the route.
7. Look for other kids who walk to school and discuss with their parents the possibility that your children could join them.
There’s another big reason for teaching your kids to be more independent: you’ll have a little more time for yourself, something you need to recharge your batteries for that busy after-school time.
So, think about it. Talk about it with your partner, discuss it with the kids, and start them on a valuable step to becoming competent, independent adults.
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