A police officer’s job of law enforcement and crime prevention includes serving as a role model and protector for children as well. Because it’s important for children to perceive police officers as friends and trusted adults, kids need to learn about police officers. Take the time to explain the details about a police officer’s job so a kindergarten child will understand how this public servant will protect and take care of her.
Talk about rules and why they are important. Help your child understand that it’s important to have rules because they keep everyone safe and they ensure that everyone knows how they should behave. Ask your child to give you an example of a rule he needs to follow, such as no hitting or asking before going outside. Tell your child that rules and laws are different words, but they mean essentially the same thing -- laws are the rules that cities, states and countries make to keep people safe.
Present a police officer to your child as a “safe stranger,” advises the National Crime Prevention Council. Because young children often hear scary stories about strangers and learn about avoiding strangers, it’s important to differentiate between safe strangers and strangers who may not be safe. Point out police officers to your child, designating them as “safe strangers” who can help your child if he needs it.
Tell your child that a police officer has many important duties that are a part of his job. Some of these duties include helping people in trouble, providing first aid if someone is hurt, finding people who get lost, making sure that everyone obeys laws, looking for and catching people who break laws, and patrolling (watching) areas to make sure everyone stays safe, states the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website.
Discuss some tools and equipment that a police officer uses. First, a police officer wears a special uniform with a badge so that everyone recognizes that she is a police officer. A police officer also has handcuffs that she uses to handcuff a person when arresting him. A police officer also carries a flashlight so she can see in the dark. If a child asks about a police officer’s gun, tell your child that police officers do carry guns to help them protect people and maintain order. Stress the fact that police officers have training to use guns and they need to follow many rules about how and when to use a gun, states Susan W. Allen and Karen Herd Talbot, authors of “Preparing Preschoolers.”
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