Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catchy Phrasing

Welcome to the September 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Staying Safe
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and tips about protecting our families. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

There are so many different things we do to help our children learn to stay safe. I think one tool that can really help in those "lessons" is catchy phrasing. I have a couple examples for you. When Tyler was very young, her father (who could make up silly lyrics on command) came up with a goofy sentence that all rhymed with our street address. It started with "nifty fine shorty sticks" which represented 5-9-4-6. Tyler will be 15 years old later this week and she still remembers that goofy phrase AND the address of that house!

Tyler, on the 5946 porch as Dorothy

Another example is one we used with Tyler and I am trying to get Sasha using as well. The rule when out and about is "If you can't see me, I can't see you." The idea is for my children to make sure they can see me at all times. Because... well, because if they can't see me, then I can't see them!

Do you have ways your family makes safety fun?

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Stranger Danger — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her approach to the topic of "strangers" and why she prefers to avoid that word, instead opting to help her 4-year-old understand what sorts of contact with adults is appropriate and whom to seek help from should she ever need it.
  • We are the FDA — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger makes the case that when it comes to food and drugs, parents are necessarily both their kids' best proponent of healthy eating and defense against unsafe products.
  • You Can't Baby Proof Mother Nature — Nicole Lauren at Mama Mermaid shares how she tackles the challenges of safety when teaching her toddler about the outdoors.
  • Bike Safety With Kids — Christy at Eco Journey In the Burbs shares her tips for safe cycling with children in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
  • Spidey Sense — Maud at Awfully Chipper used a playground visit gone awry to teach her children about trusting their instincts.
  • Watersustainablemum explains how she has used her love of canoeing to enable her children to be confident around water
  • Safety without baby proofing — Hannabert at Hannahandhorn talks about teaching safety rather than babyproofing.
  • Coming of Age: The Safety Net of Secure AttatchmentGentle Mama Moon reflects on her own experiences of entering young adulthood and in particular the risks that many young women/girls take as turbulent hormones coincide with insecurities and for some, loneliness — a deep longing for connection.
  • Mistakes You Might Be Makings With Car Seats — Car seats are complex, and Brittany at The Pistachio Project shares ways we might be using them improperly.
  • Could your child strangle on your window blinds? — One U.S. child a month strangles to death on a window blind cord — and it's not always the obvious cords that are the danger. Lauren at Hobo Mama sends a strong message to get rid of corded blinds, and take steps to keep your children safe.
  • Tips to Help Parents Quit Smoking (and Stay Quit) — Creating a safe, smoke-free home not only gives children a healthier childhood, it also helps them make healthier choices later in life, too. Dionna at Code Name: Mama (an ex-smoker herself) offers tips to parents struggling to quit smoking, and she'll be happy to be a source of support for anyone who needs it.
  • Gradually Expanding Range — Becca at The Earthling's Handbook explains how she is increasing the area in which her child can walk alone, a little bit at a time.
  • Safety Sense and Self Confidence — Do you hover? Are you overprotective? Erica at ChildOrganics discusses trusting your child's safety sense and how this helps your child develop self-confidence.
  • Staying Safe With Food Allergies and Intolerances — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is sharing how she taught her son about staying safe when it came to his food allergies.
  • Don't Touch That Baby!Crunchy Con Mom offers her 3 best tips for preventing unwanted touching of your baby.
  • Playground Wrangling: Handling Two Toddlers Heading in Opposite Directions — Megan at the Boho Mama shares her experience with keeping two busy toddlers safe on the playground (AKA, the Zone of Death) while also keeping her sanity.
  • Letting Go of "No" and Taking Chances — Mommy at Playing for Peace tries to accept the bumps, bruises and tears that come from letting her active and curious one-year-old explore the world and take chances.
  • Preventing Choking in Babies and Toddlers with Older Siblings — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now gives tips on preventing choking in babies and toddlers along with Montessori-inspired tips for preventing choking in babies and toddlers who have older siblings working with small objects.
  • Keeping Our Children Safe: A Community and National Priority — September has many days and weeks dedicated to issues of safety; however, none stir the emotions as does Patriot Day which honors those slain the terrorist attacks. Along with honoring the victims, safety officals want parents to be ready in the event of another disaster whether caused by terrorists or nature. Here are their top tips from Mary at Mary-andering Creatively.
  • A Complete Family: Merging Pets and Offspring — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the ground rules that she laid out for herself, her big brown dog, and later her baby to ensure a happy, safe, and complete family.
  • Be Brave — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about helping her kids learn to be brave so that they can stay safe, even when she's not around.
  • Catchy PhrasingMomma Jorje just shares one quick tip for helping kids learn about safety. She assures there are examples provided.
  • Know Your Kid — Alisha at Cinnamon&Sassfras refutes the idea that children are unpredictable.
  • Surprising car seat myths — Choosing a car seat is a big, important decision with lots of variables. But there are some ways to simplify it and make sure you have made the safest choice for your family. Megan at Mama Seeds shares how, plus some surprising myths that changed her approach to car seats completely!
  • I Never Tell My Kids To Be Careful — Kim is Raising Babes, Naturally, by staying present and avoiding the phrase "be careful!"


  1. That's a really cute idea to help memorize your house number. I should try to think of something for ours too.,

  2. We probably need some more safety rules for being out and about...Rhymes might be a great idea..

  3. I need to hammer that "if you can't see me" phrase into my two more. Kieran, I'm not so worried about, because he doesn't tend to wander far. Ailia, on the other hand, is much more prone to getting far, far out of eyesight. As far as catchy tunes, I still remember how we used to sing a friend's phone number - I think my mom taught it to me in song for emergencies.

  4. Dude, I have to come up with a rhyming phrase for our address. It is SO hard for Mikko to remember.

    I have problems with Mikko telling me, "But I *could* see *you*," such as when he's hiding. So I've taken to telling him *I* need to be able to see *him.* Ha. But it can be hard for a littler kid to know when that is, so I think it's good to start with the first version!

    That picture of Tyler — oh, my heart!

  5. Our address is easy because it's three of the same digit. But I love your rhyme!

  6. I do find myself saying "If you can't see me I can't see you!" I wish I could come up with a fun jingle for our phone number!

    1. Thankfully, my phone number is easy. That is why we chose mine, rather than Daddy's. Its 3 digits, then the reverse of those 3 digits, then a zero. I love my number!

  7. I love the rhyme for remembering your address. How cute.

  8. Great idea! I should create a catchy phrase for our home address so that my daughter can remember it. I should make one to help her remember the home telephone number as well. It will help to put a card or note in her pocket when we go out but it will be a lot better if my babe has everything into memory.

    1. HoboMama did a review a while back on temporary tattoos on which you can include your phone number. We also wrote my phone number in big print on a piece of paper to help her fine tune her memory of it. See... I had corrected her from "oh" to "zero" - so she started saying BOTH (my phone number then had an extra digit).

  9. I discovered Moira knew my phone number when she was 2.5 and I was telling it to someone on the phone. She finished before I did. I still made it into a song, to help her remember when she gets scared. I haven't even started on our address though, we really need to work on that one.

  10. Cute! I love that address jingle! I definitely use the "If you can't see me I can't see you" phrase every time we are out in a busy place and I'm going to let my kids be out of my direct reach. I've also told them that if they stray where I can't see them then I can't trust them to follow the rule and maybe they aren't ready for some freedom.


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