Helping children become independent crossing the road, and how play can help!
Crossing the road is something we do many times a day with our children. But how can play help them to do it independently and safely! In today’s busy world it is sometimes easy to hold on to the hand of your child as you cross the road and cross. No mention of the road or the traffic or what they need to look out for. We may even cross between two cars or not wait for the green man. This is understandable as we may be rushing to get them to school on time or we need to rush off elsewhere. However, identify some times when you can do this more slowly.
Children who are unaware of crossing the road may be shouted at (for their safety!) but they are more likely to be frightened by the shouting than understand why they are being shouted at.
Set up play with cars and tracks at home to ‘play’ at crossing the road. And play with what can happen. Explain calmly that cars can hurt if they were to touch you. This isn’t about scaring them though! It is about empowering them to know how to cross the road. Let them take charge. They have to tell you if it safe to cross. Ask them where would be the best place to cross. The level of independence with this will increase as children get older.
When primary age children are confident at crossing the road they are internalizing what they need to do. Looking, listening and crossing safety should become second nature. This is important before children hit their teenage years. Teenagers brains go through massive development and so if we are expecting them to learn to cross the road and it isn’t already automatic they can struggle to appropriately assess risk.
Many children have almost constant adult supervision, allowing children to develop independence and take charge at important things such as crossing the road can help their self-esteem, see that they can make good decisions and Develop vital skill set for the next stage of childhood!
Enriching Parenting Series
This is from the Developing Independence section of the Enriching Parenting Series. This comprehensive look at modern parenting is being launched on the 3rd November 2017 at the Yorkshire Hotel Harrogate. £25 per person for the opportunity to come along and hear Dr Tracy Laverick and to receive a range of resources and parenting support. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book.
Further information can also be found at Seminars 2017 . Enjoy techniques and approaches to get you out the house in a morning and have confident kids and non-judgemental support. Come and find what works for you!