Know your kid

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.


We live on a very quiet road. To get to our house, you have to go through somebody’s dairy/turkey farm. The road ends at our house.

I have a few things I’m nervous about, like our river, but mostly, it’s an incredibly safe place for the kids.

When Silas is big enough to want to go to the farm by himself, I might be a bit concerned, but I know him. He’s, if anything, too cautious. There’s big equipment, but he respects it. One day last spring, I was walking with the kids and the dog. Petra was in the Ergo, Silas was a little head of me, and Ender was beside me. I saw one of the big tractor-trailers coming up from the turkey houses. “Here comes a truck,” I told Silas. He stood off the side of the road. I knelt down by Ender and held onto his collar. As the truck passed, I thought, “That driver must think I’m insane. I’m here holding onto my dog, and my two-year-old is fifteen feet away.” But the truth is, I knew that Silas would stay right where he was. He sometimes pretends that a truck is coming so that he can practice getting off the road.

Problem Child

At a recent church picnic, I saw him trekking off to the playground. Not the playground that is right next to the picnic shelter (of course), but the one that is clear across the field. It’s designed for bigger kids. Someone asked if I was worried that he might try to climb too high and hurt himself. I shook my head. Again, I must have looked like a negligent parent, but I knew that he wouldn’t. I kept an eye on him, in case he got in over his head and needed a rescue, but he was fine.

I’ve known kids I wouldn’t let out of arm’s reach; Silas is just not one of those kids. He’s always been pretty good at taking care of himself. I remember once, having a friend over for tea when Silas was about one and a half. We were sitting in the living room with the sliding door open, and he was playing on the porch. After a bit, my friend pointed out that we hadn’t actually seen Silas in quite a while. I went to investigate. He had gone down the steps and was happily playing in the yard(en). And I knew he would be fine. He didn’t need my eyeballs on him every second.

Who knows if Petra will be as independent and self-sufficient. If not, I know she’ll have her big brother keeping a close eye on her.


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:

(This list will be updated by afternoon September 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • 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 cars eats completely!
  • I Never Tell My Kids To Be Careful — Kim is Raising Babes, Naturally, by staying present and avoiding the phrase “be careful!”


Aili Written by:


  1. September 10, 2013

    We are also “negligent” parents with large playground equipment. We watch but don’t hover and once he demonstrates that he can master the climbing object, we back off.

  2. September 10, 2013

    Your Silas sounds a lot like my Kieran. And if my experience is true for you, then Petra will be a little bit more adventurous 😉 Ailia knows no boundaries. She is a very free spirit – but I think it’s because she has such an incredible big brother to toddle off after!
    ~Dionna @

  3. September 10, 2013

    People are always concerned about my kids, that I don’t hold hands or keep them right up against me when we’re walking or at stores. On the one hand, it’s good that people are looking out for little kids. On the other hand — people, it’s ok. My kids are fine. They’re both probably overly cautious about cars, for instance, stopping and getting way over much earlier than they’d reasonably need to.

  4. Shannon
    September 11, 2013

    My oldest has always been sensible about danger. She ran into the road once at 18 months, and I explained why she shouldn’t do it, and she didn’t again for another 2 years. It’s already obvious that her little brother does not share her caution. He’s constantly getting stuck or trying to explore farther away than is safe, or climbing out of the stroller while it’s moving. It’s a good thing I am prepared for the fact that different people need different levels of attention to keep them safe.

  5. September 12, 2013

    I agree with the idea of knowing your kid and trusting that. People thought I let my middle daughter take too many risks, just because they don’t let their own child do the same thing. I know her and know that she will stop when she feels uncomfortable, and that her uncomfortable is also my uncomfortable. My youngest daughter, however, I have to watch very carefully because she is constantly trying to keep up with bigger kids and pushes herself beyond her abilities. She will run in a parking lot, despite always being told to hold my hand because cars can’t see her, she runs away from me in stores, and once at the playground she ran all the way across the field to the main road and started to cross when I turned my back for a second, all because she wanted to go home and we weren’t ready. Definitely important to know your children.

  6. September 12, 2013

    None of my children have been cautious. That sounds so nice. lol

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