Ensuring safety without forcing fear

Today Emma, an adoptive mum wants your advice on reinforcing safety without heaping on the fear…

A Problem SharedYesterday I was 2 minutes late getting to school, at least 2 minutes later than usual. My normal routine is to go to my youngest daughter’s class exit and then my eldest meets me there. If eldest isn’t out before youngest, then we walk to and wait at eldest’s exit for her to finish.

Eldest has been told on many occasions to go back to her own class if I’m not there, though I (until now) have been there everyday unless pre-arranged with both the girls and their teachers (in the event of playdates etc).

So today, as I’m rushing in, eldest comes strolling out of the school gate with one of her friends who’d spotted my car near that particular school gate (there are 3). Youngest’s class hadn’t CYMERA_20140305_152029even started to come out at that point, so eldest should have gone back to her classroom or at the very least waited by youngest’s class door.

There are security issues with eldest, she knows this…at least I thought she did. But I’m not sure how to reinforce how important this issue is without scaring her.
I could of course insist that her teacher makes her wait for me at her own door, but I was hoping that – at 10 – she would be able to handle the independence of walking around the corner of the playground to wait for me.


One thought on “Ensuring safety without forcing fear

  1. Meggy

    At ten she will be wanting more independence, wanting to be like her friends, not wanting to have to explain to her friends why she can’t leave school without you, not wanting to seem babyish. It is a lot to ask of a ten year old.
    I have two boys of 12 and 9; because of behavioural issues they are not allowed the same freedom as their friends. They get frustrated and angry, they want to walk home alone from school, go to the park etc. They are not safe on roads, and not appropriate with strangers. Even thought they understand why they can’t, they still resent it, and it is getting harder each year. It’s only natural for kids to want more freedom as they get older. 🙁
    I’m sure your reasons for not letting her out without you are very valid, and you know how big the risks are, I can’t comment on that obviously. However if she doesn’t understand the risks she won’t conform. And it is going to get harder as she grows older. I would be as honest with her as possible. You are the best person to judge how much information she can cope with. If she becomes less compliant you may have to tell her more, and run the risk of scaring her.
    It may be worth enlisting the help of her teacher and other parents, could her friends mums keep an eye out for her after school each day? Could the teacher keep her in the class by giving her a job to do, eg clean the whiteboards or something?


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