Tips From Experts
This is how to prepare your children for road traffic – these are the most important tips from traffic psychologist, Prof. Maria Limbourg:
- Set a good example – from the very start, even if this often proves difficult. Because as soon as a child can walk, he follows the example which you set in traffic. Therefore, even if you are in a hurry, do not cross the road if the light is still red. Instead, look right and left before crossing the road.
- Talk to your child – in a manner appropriate to his age and the situation at hand. For example, why is it dangerous to cross the road at precisely this point? Where would it be safer?
- Role reversal: Let your child take you by the hand and guide you through the traffic over a small distance which is not too dangerous, and let him explain to you what to do. This will allow your child to cement his knowledge, and you can check what he is already capable of (suitable even for four- or five-year-olds).
- Accompany your child whenever he goes anywhere by foot; only in this way can he gain his own experience in traffic.
- Sharpen your child's senses in a playful way: What direction is that sound coming from? And can you hear the noise which the red car there is making?
- Create an exercise to develop a child's sense of speed: How long will it be before the tractor, lorry or sports car has driven past us? Let's count together: one, two, three, four, etc.
- Train motor skills, even with the first set of wheels. Anyone who uses stabilizers does not practice keeping his balance; scooters or training bikes are more suitable.
Train sequences of motions, in a playful manner and on safe ground, e.g. in the playground, when practicing gymnastics, in the football club, during a bicycle tour on the weekend. A lot of movement and sport not only trains body control but also gets one's senses to work together.