Good morning my Minette
How are you doing?
Let us delve today into the safety of our children on the street. Being streetwise have different angles, but basically, it means to always be prepared.
How to be streetwise is just as important as good manners. Your child learns all the valuable lessons from their own experiences, it gives them the confidence to be street smart. Teach your child of any age how to deal with the harsh realities. Let them come up with a solution and guide them to the safe way of a smart person.
Streetwise is the slang word for Situational Intelligence. Teach your child how to be prepared in any situation. Being streetwise is to teach him or her the ability to gather information about their surroundings in a certain situation and make fast clear decisions for safety.
Situational Intelligence is the capacity to evaluate a situation and then respond efficiently.
Always be one step ahead by observing and knowing more than those around you. We all live in a world where everyone is a part of the rat race and trying their best to emerge as the winner.
The society we live in input all the emphasis on academics, you have to be book smart, but in the real world streetwise is the practical side of life. To be street smart is just as important as being book smart, teaching you, child, to have a healthy balance between the two.
As a parent you can’t always be with your child, especially when they grow older, therefore it is crucial to teach them awareness in public, to be able to stay safe.
Streetwise means to be resourceful and smart in the choices you make. When walking out the front gate there are so many dangers that lurk around the corner.
Let’s see what is it we as parents can do to make our children aware and safe.
How to be Streetwise
What is there that we as parents can do.
Firstly teach your child to trust their instincts. When something feels wrong it probably is.
Never overprotect or over-scheduled your child. I know, we love them so much and we want to brace them from all evil. This is a huge mistake, teaching them from an early age to fend for themselves, is the way to go.
Armour them with the knowledge of how to behave and what to do in a time of danger, it is our duty and responsibility my dear lady.
Controlling your child by telling them continuously what to do and how to do it, damage their self-esteem and confidence. They might fall easy-pray to child molesters or get kidnapped. Teach them how to toughen up and be able to say No.
Build your child’s self-worth by letting them do their own thing, let them gain their own experiences. Talk about the possibility of different situations, of danger they can get into. Discuss it and challenge them to come up with a solution.
Guide them to make the best choices and how to take action the correct safe way. In the long run, they will learn and get confident.
As an example, after a discussion goes to the shop with them. Let them do their excursion, select a sweet and go and pay for it with you watching in the background, stay close.
Soon they will have the confidence, and know what to expect and know what to do.
Making them aware to paying attention to their surroundings, observe and be able to separate the good from the bad. There are only two kinds of people in the world, Victims and Victors, teach your child to be a Victor.
Give attention to your surroundings, who are on your radar. Who walks in front of you and who is behind you, what is a person’s body language and how do they behave.
Stay alert, be aware of movements, who does what, observe and doubt everything and everybody. Do not get distracted by anyone, especially at the ATM. Never go alone, have a friend with you.
Recognise a situation and weigh the circumstances up. Teach them the options of what can happen in the situation. What actions to take and what the consequences will be.
Never stroll when alone in the street, always walk with a purpose and a mission. Walk and stand tall, make quick eye contact with the people around you. The perpetrator will then realise you have noticed him.
Walk close to the road on the pavement, away from any buildings or alleys.
When walking down a street or a road, walk facing the oncoming traffic and see what is approaching you. If you feel you are being followed, cross the street safely or turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Walking into a store and asking for assistance is another way to stay safe.
When you are being followed by a car, memorise or write down their number plate and change direction.
Remember what the suspicious person looked like, any marks on his face or arms and what clothes did they wear, be specific, for instance, faded denim pants, red t-shirt, well-worn sneakers.
Benefits of Being Streetwise
For older Children
With good observational skills, it is easy to distinguish what is going on around you and can make better judgements in the situation.
Situational Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence go hand in hand. It is a good combination, you will be able to recognise a situation and then stood up for yourself or getaway.
A streetwise person will always be alert but have the judgement not to panic or freak out. In a split second, they will know how to handle the situation and what to do.
If you have a very suspicious mind, it will make you a good judge of character. The way a person behaves, talks and interacts will tell you what kind of person it is. Then there is still the gut feeling that will keep you safe.
With this knowledge, you will find it easy to navigate your way in a strange place and city. You will find, many solo travellers, are streetwise people.
Having the ability to be a good judge of character, helps to make new friends easy.
Being attentive and alert does make you aware and not an easy target for criminals.
Being able to take care of yourself makes you streetwise and your self-esteem is high, therefore you have your own opinions and are not dependent on others. When you talk, people listen, because you know what you are talking about.
The practical experiences you gain will make you wise and you will know how something should be done.
You develop an outgoing personality, make many friends and know many people. Contacts are always a valuable asset.
No one can pull wool over your eyes, you are wide awake and will bargain your way to get good deals. Nobody will take you for granted.
To beat the situation, you must be able to outsmart the rest, have a street-smart understanding of the way the world around you works. In other words, prepare your child, teach them to be one step ahead, act first and know a little more. Naivety is detrimental on the streets.
Streetwise people are more open to taking risks. Pushing your boundaries and taking a risk is a healthy practice. For instance, you do not like your job, would you stay on just because there are risks involved in leaving it.
Or would you brace yourself and quit, choosing to deal with the problems as they come. being streetwise will give you the courage.
To overcome difficulties is not a problem that will stop a streetwise person. A street smart person possesses the valuable skill of finding a solution to almost every problem and only experience can teach you that.
Most of the time these solutions are very creative. Street smart people can get out of even the stickiest of situations.
I hope with this letter it is clear how important it is to train your child from a young age until they leave the home to become streetwise. Teach them to be independent.
This is your responsibility too. It is just as important as feeding and clothing them.
Get them out of their comfort zone and help them to gain the necessary experiences while still at home. Make it an adventure. They will always be grateful for all the life skills you have taught them.
As a parent, you only have 18 years to lay the foundation of your future. The first five years are the most important to build character and the rest falls into the streetwise category.
Help them to build a strong steadfast character and personality for a happy and successful life. Listen to what they want and then guide and assist the best you can.
Until next time, stay safe my lady.