When teaching your child to behave safely, you can avoid scaring or overwhelming your preschooler by staying tuned-in to his or her reactions. Be sure to have back-and-forth conversations on safety topics so that you can catch any misunderstandings, and respond to any unwarranted fears. Children need to feel safe before they can learn new information and act with self-control.
Often children respond to safety rules as limitations on their free movement and resist this adult control. Caregivers who use the phrase “It’s my job to keep you safe” reassure children that their safety is the driving motivation and emphasize that they are being protected by people who care about their wellbeing.