(HOUSTON – July 2) As the nation plans to celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s time for parents to have a plan to keep their kids busy, and more importantly, safe at a time when all forms of violence are fueling fears in communities around the country.
Bishop James Dixon, the Houston pastor who is the founder of Create A Safer Place For Me, is offering his 10 Safer Place Power Tips for the summer and encouraging parents, churches, businesses, community and civic groups to share and implement these helpful ideas how best to keep kids safe, happy and active during these hot – and often – more violent summers.
“The Number One concern for kids in the summer is safety,” said Bishop Dixon of the Community of Faith Church in Houston. “Most parents don’t have a safety plan, but they definitely need one. These 10 tips are just a few suggestions to help create that plan. But I know if we all come together, we can make our communities and neighborhoods safer places for our families and kids.”
The 10 Tips were released today as part of a national movement to empower families and communities all over the country to protect their kids from gun violence. Bishop Dixon is urging parents, teachers, and community leaders to share their tips on the Safer Place For Me Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ASaferPlaceForMe
A Safer Place for Me is a national campaign to encourage all families of all races, incomes and politics to sit down to talk to each about how they eliminate violence in their communities, particular against children. The foundation is asking people to join him and thousands of others to fight violence. To raise money for the foundation, Dixon II wrote and co-produced with Ernest Walker of Walker Entertainment Group, a powerful song and music video performed by a multicultural children’s choir, “Create a Safer Place for Me”. You can watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVWjan1hW9Y
To interview Dixon and learn more about A Safer Place for Me, contact Neil Foote, Foote Communications, LLC, firstname.lastname@example.org, 214.448.3765.
10 Safer Place Power Tips
1. Connect your child with positive people, in positive places to do positive things: A camp, a church program, a youth recreational program.
2. Schedule regular times to speak with your child by phone while you are away at work. For example, every two or three years. The important thing is to communicate. Ask the right questions to get truthful responses.
3. Restrict children from going beyond safe zones. Clearly define the people and places that you consider safe. Try and keep them playing with the same kids, in the same places everyday. Know those kids and know the adults in that place.
4. Partner with the parents of your children’s friends. Ask your kids for a list of their friends. Then reach out to the parents of those kids. Form a parental partnership. Discuss expectations, work and activity schedules, and share daily updates. Create a friends’ list with their name, address, phone number and email address.
5. Give your children a daily list of chores that must be performed in order to keep privileges. Expect and inspect to be sure they are done. Reward success and lovingly punish failure to perform.
6. Talk with kids each day to get details of that day’s experiences. How was it? What did you do? Where did you go? What time did you get there? How long did you stay? Who was there? Who did you see? Did you enjoy it? Where did you go from there? How did you get to the store? Were there any fights? Did anyone get into trouble????
7. Assign one child to be your eyes and ears. Be wise about this. A good way to keep kids focused is to make them responsible. “Call me at 12noon”. “I’m counting on you today”. “Can I depend on you to be honest”?
8. Address anything that looks, sounds or smells suspicious. Assume that something is happening that your kids are not telling you. They are kids! Investigate! Monitor their activities and associates very closely.
9. Visit the places they like to go. Make sure your presence is known by the people they associate with. Distinguish yourself as the parent who cares, is concerned and committed to your children’s well being.
10. Have as much of your children’s day spent at home or in another environment that is well ordered, supervised, positive and safe. Free time and open access to unprotected places and unknown people spells danger.