The ABCs of Safety & Manners
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made as a mom was to expect what I haven’t taught. I’d take my kids out and expect them to know not to ask the lady sitting next to us at the park for part of her lunch. Or expect them to know that they shouldn’t run and scream in a store or touch in an art museum. How WOULD my kids know that if I didn’t teach them? Teaching and training are part of being a parent.
One of the biggest successes I’ve had as a parent is when I’ve prepared my kids for what’s to come. I’ve given them “rules of conduct”–not to be a dictator, but instead for the sake of safety and manners.
These aren’t rules to be shared one time and forgotten. Instead, they are ones that should be read through often as reminders. (In the beginning you might want to read over them every time that you go out.) Knowing these rules will prepare your children so they’ll be able to enjoy the day and have fun … and so will you!
I’ve included a printable for you to print, use, post, and share. May all your summer outings be less stressful and safer because of it!
Rules for Outings
- Ask permission from your parents before you leave the group.
- Be respectful and polite. “Please” and “Thank You” never go out of style.
- Consider others before yourself. Take turns.
- Do put garbage in a trash can. Leave the place as you find it … or better!
Everyone will be fed. If you are hungry or thirsty let us know. Don’t ask other people for their food. Don’t accept food or offer food to others without permission.
- Fighting is for boxers in the ring. Treat others as you want to be treated.
- Go slow. When inside only walk, unless you have permission to run.
- Hold open doors for those following you.
- If you can’t see me, I can’t see you. Get to where you can see me!
- Joking and playing is not always appropriate. Consider the place and situation.
Keep your hands to yourself. In museums and other special places, you often have to look only with your eyes, not your hands.
- Look and wait if you’re lost. If you get separated from the group ask someone who works there for help and stay put.
- Make peace not war. Respect your siblings’ private spaces and don’t irritate them.
- Never be alone with a stranger, even if they appear friendly.
- Obey your parents the very first time. Say “Yes, mom” or “Yes, dad” to show you heard them.
Partner up. Always stick with your buddy.
- Quietly listen. If someone is talking, wait to ask your questions.
- Respond to others when asked a question.
- STOP is the most important word, especially outside. When an adult says that, you do it, and ask questions later.
- Try something new. Embrace the opportunity.
- Use inside voices when inside.
Volunteer to help when you see a need.
- Watch your gawking. Don’t stare, even if they stared first.
- X-pect to carry your own things. If you bring it, you carry it.
- You should go to the bathroom before we leave. Don’t wait until the last minute. Let us know when you have to go.
- Zero complaining. Smile and have fun!
2 Parents + 8 Kids + 1 Grandma = A house full of chaos, mess, and noise!
And between homeschooling, writing and leading a Teen MOPS group — I definitely get frustrated and cranky at times.
But You know what bothered me the most? Hearing my kids complaining. It drove me crazy until I realized I could teach them something better.
I could teach them gratitude. We could learn to be a family that’s grateful and thankful. Together we could become Grumble Free.
Would a year be enough to teach us all to focus on God’s goodness through every opportunity?
We found out in our Grumble Free Year and now you can read about how we faced whining and complaining head-on and became a stronger family because of it!
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