Password Protected Kids
Parenting can be quite an emotional roller coaster and keeping my kids safe is at the top of my list of priorities. My kids have been “password protected” for some time, however, it was an unexpected turn of events at school last week that required the “password” to be used.
As parents, we can’t always be with our children. They may be at a friend’s house, school or sporting events… even a family member’s house. There are many times they will be without you.
So what’s with password protecting your kids and why and how would you use it?
I can’t remember where I first heard about it however, I gave my kids a password many, many years ago and I’m relieved that it never needed to be used until now.
I gave the kids a password so that if anyone ever used the line on them “Mum said it was ok” or “your mum said…” then if the person didn’t know the password the kids would know not to trust that person and I didn’t say whatever I was supposed to have said.
I first password protected my kids when they were 7,5 and 3 years old. The earlier you start, the more opportunity you’ll have to drill it in. I used it for the first time last week with my 10-year-old daughter!
It takes more drilling with a 3-year-old than it does with a 7-year-old, however they will get it and then they have a safe password.
I would hope my kids are more worried about getting in trouble from me than listening to a stranger. To begin with, I would never put my kids in a situation they were’t safe to be in. However, in saying that, there are times they might need to use a password and it could be something so simple that you wouldn’t even think of it….like my son transitioning from using the women’s toilets to the men’s or a teacher/parent saying “Mum said it was ok”.
For example, if I went into a shop or used a public toilet and my kids didn’t want to come in, I would say;
“You’re to wait here and not go anywhere with anyone even if they tell you to or even if they said mum said to”.
If a stranger spoke to the kids, the kids were to ask for the password and if the person didn’t know the password then they knew not to go anywhere with the stranger.
Yes, this takes drilling and yes I give my kids permission to speak with confidence and not to be afraid to ask questions of adults. I’m pretty firm about safety, at times borderline anxious. The password is an effort to keep them safe it helps us have a plan.
A few tips:
Pick a fun but simple word that kids will remember. Like their favourite ice cream, chocolate, lollies, car, flower or pet’s middle name (it’s an opportunity to give your pet a middle name!)
Practice often and drill the same conversation and scenario when you know they are going to be away from you. This is so it will become second nature.
Prep them and give them insight into a possible conversation so they know what to expect. “If anyone says this to you, then you need to ask them the password and if they don’t know it…” You get the idea.