Learn a few easy ways to protect your family and keep your most valued asset safe and sound. Our families are everything!
For many of us, our families are everything. The current circumstances have made many of us draw our families even closer and work even harder to keep them safe and protected. You can never know what might be around the corner, but you can be prepared. Preparation can help to keep your family safe and secure.
Set A Budget
It might sound simple, but financial security is key to protecting your family. Careers and health can all change unexpectedly, so you can’t always guarantee your income. If you budget, you can cover your current bills and have enough left over to save for future surprises. If something does happen, you’ll have savings ready to help you and your family to keep going, even if you or your spouse can’t earn for a while.
Share With Your Kids
As well as agreeing on and sticking to a budget, it can help to talk to your children about your money decisions. You don’t want to scare them or cause them to feel worried about money, but instead, want them to understand and value money. Talk to them honestly about why you might choose not to spend money sometimes, whether because you’re saving for something else or it’s just not in the budget. These conversations help your children to learn to be money savvy, protecting them from financial struggles later in life.
Start A College Fund
Education is very important. The better an education you can give to your children, the more choices and opportunities will have when they grow up. Education matters, so cost shouldn’t have to be a hurdle. Start saving for your child’s future education as soon as you can. By the time they’re old enough to decide what they want to do, you should have a good amount of savings ready to help with school fees, accommodation costs, or the costs of any books or equipment that they might need. Save now to offer them more choice later.
Establish Home Safety
If you’re going to keep your family safe, you need to keep your home safe and secure too. This will differ depending on where you live. If you live somewhere that floods or experiences earthquakes your home should be prepared to deal with them. Have a plan and a checklist so you can react quickly if you need to.
Make sure your home is properly secured, with secure doors and windows. Lock doors and windows at night or when you aren’t home. Don’t forget garden gates, garage doors, and shed doors too. You might want to consider fitting a burglar alarm too.
You must have home insurance, so your home and belongings are protected in the event of theft or damage.
Get Life Insurance
Nobody likes to think about it, but we all need to consider what might happen to our family when we’re gone. Would your children be taken care of if the worst happened? It’s responsible to arrange both a will and life insurance. This gives you peace of mind that if anything was to happen, finances won’t be something that your family has to worry about. Life insurance can help to cover funeral costs, or to cushion the loss of your earnings.
Whether you get ill, worry about car accidents, or have a risky job, it’s smart to consider how you can provide for your family even after you’re gone.
Keep Tabs On Their Social Media
As they get older, at some point, your children are going to want to set up social media accounts. When you decide they’re old enough, you should look into different social media channels, so you understand what you’re agreeing to let them do. It might be wise to set up your own accounts so you can get familiar with the platforms. You can’t protect your child from the risks of these sites if you don’t know what they are.
You could set up accounts of your own if you don’t have them already, so you can friend or follow them. They might not be delighted about this, but it should encourage them to be careful about what they post. If you do this, check in on them sometimes, but don’t overdo it, or they might feel spied on.
When they set up accounts, make sure they have checked privacy and location settings. Children might not see the danger of things like this, so make sure they aren’t accidentally telling anyone that you’re away from home.
Make Use Of Privacy and Parental Settings On The Computer
Parental filters might sound unpleasant to your child, but sit them down and discuss with them what this actually means. Honesty is the best policy for things like that. Most children have no contention of trying to access the content you’d rather they didn’t see, but filters can be used to protect them from being sent or linked to things that would upset them. Parental settings can also be used to limit the amount of time spent online.
Explain to the kids that these restrictions are to keep them safe, not because you don’t trust them.
Teach Them That The Internet Is Forever
The internet can be a great tool for children, for help with their studies and for entertainment, but it does have a dark side.
Have a conversation with your children about how the internet works, and talk about examples from the news about other teenagers who went viral for the wrong reasons or ended up on the receiving end of an internet backlash.
They must understand that what the post now can last forever online, and can be twisted and amplified by other people. Once a post or a photo has been shared online, they don’t own it anymore, and can’t predict where it might end up.
Copyright law around social media is complicated, so talk to your kids about the photos they share. It’s also wise to remind them that employers often search for candidates on social media now, so when they’re an adult and job hunting, a foolish post made now could come back to haunt them and prevent them from being hired.
Make Gaming Safe
Gaming has changed a lot in recent years, and online gaming has become an established part of gaming culture. Most games now can be taken online and played with friends and strangers.
Online gaming can turn nasty, with competitiveness and the desire to win turning trash talk into cyber bullying and online abuse. Make sure that your children understand what this is, and what they should do if they come across any bullying or other nasty behavior while they’re playing games online. You should also be prepared to dole out firm punishments if you catch your children being the online bully.
You might think your little angel isn’t capable of bullying another, but losing on the internet can quickly become heated, so you must be ready to nip this behavior in the bud as soon as you see any signs of it.
Online games can be completely safe, but keep an eye on things, just in case.
Teach Children How To Behave While Out and About
Crime against young children is very rare, but it’s smart to make sure your children, even small kids, know how to stay safe. When you have these conversations, be careful to make them age-appropriate so children understand how to behave, but aren’t frightened and worried someone is going to hurt them.
Teach your children not to talk to strangers when you’re not with them, and to never walk away with a stranger, even if they tell them that you sent them. Encourage open conversation, so they won’t be tempted to keep it a secret if a stranger does approach them.
If your child has to travel alone for any reason, you should tell them to sit near other families if they’re on the bus or the train. If they’ll have to use an elevator, tell them only to get in with friends, and to not feel silly if they are uncomfortable with someone who is in there and want to get out.
Teach them what to do if they get lost in public. Tell them to ask for help from a police officer, someone working in a shop, or another grown-up with children. It can also help to teach them your address and phone number by heart. This way, if they do get lost, someone will be able to call you or bring them home.
When out with young children, keep them within eyesight, or within the sight of another adult that you trust. Just in case, always arrange a meeting point to use if you do get separated by mistake. If you’re traveling together, always travel in the same carriage and sit as close together as you can. Always go with your child into public toilets.
Teaching your child some simple rules to live by, you can help protect your family and keep them stay safe wherever they are.