Many parents spent the weekend preparing to send their children off to the first day of school.  Whether it is the first day of kindergarten, the first day of middle school, the first day of high school or the first day of college, it’s a big deal.

Parents worry about their child fitting in with the other children or listening to their teachers.  For parents of young children it may be the fear of that first bus ride, or time on the playground.   For those with older children, it may be the first time that the child drives to school in their car, and the fear of motor vehicle safety.  For parents sending their children off to college, the list is quite extensive and ranges from alcohol to sexual relationships that we worry about with our children.

We all are thinking the same thing, did we teach them right, did they listen, will they take all that great advice we gave them, you know, you thought of things you experienced and then try to make sure they only get to do the good ones and avoid the negative ones.

How can we know though?  How can we be sure?  What gives our children the best chance for success and preparedness no matter how old or young they are and what grade they are entering?  Good Habits!

Have you taught your child good habits?  If you started when your child was small and you taught them good habits, those habits are going to help them be prepared no matter what situation they may face.  I was in a training recently in which the speaker was talking to Student Teachers about preparedness in the classroom. One of the things the speaker asked the group was, “What do you do if your clothes are on fire?”  I am sure I don’t need to tell you or anybody that has been raised in the United States in the past forty years.  Why?  Because we are taught this as a habit when we are young, it is drilled into us year after year, just like stay low in smoke and crawl to your exit. It becomes a habit, something you don’t have to think about, you just do.

I am a firm believer that we can teach people to be better prepared, no matter what the disaster, we just need to have good preparedness habits taught to us, all of us, from when we are young.

Think about a couple of things:  Do you wear your seat belt?  Do you drive through standing water?  Are you outside in a lightning storm?  What habits are you teaching your children?

I will pick this up next time.  In the interim, if you have any thoughts, feel free to email me at duane.hagelgans@millersville.edu

Be Smart, Be Prepared, Be Safe!

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