While at my freshman orientation for high school, I was asked my social security number. I didn’t know it and the woman registering me was mortified. She very rudely said something along the lines of “You are close to being an adult. It might be time for you to learn your personal information!” I was so embarrassed, I went home and memorized my social security number. I am the type of person that knows it all and getting called out like that was not okay for me.
Fast forward 13+ years and now I am a third grade teacher. Most of my students don’t even know their parents’ first and last name, much less their addresses and phone numbers. Y’all that is just insane to me! How on Earth could we ever expect someone to help our children find us if they can’t even tell someone who their parents are? It’s a thought we as parents don’t want to think about, but the reality is that in a blink of an eye our children could go missing, and we need to equip them with the information needed to find us in the case of an emergency.
I have two toddlers, and recently I was reminded that they are smarter than we give them credit for! One day my toddler was pretending calling me, and I asked him if he knew my phone number. Of course he didn’t. I took the opportunity to teach him my number. I honestly thought he would forget it and never be able to remember it. But the next day when we got into the car, I asked him again and to my surprise, he remembered it! I realized in that moment even at four and a half, he is capable of memorizing important information.
Here are a few things I think we should teach our children, even toddlers, in case they are ever in a situation that they need to know how to contact us.
Teaching our children where they live is so important. We don’t need to teach them the whole shebang but the basics will be enough — 123 Thomas Lane is more than enough to help someone find you if needed.
In a world of cell phones, we are all guilty of not memorizing phone numbers. I think I know my husband’s number, my mom’s number and my grandma’s house number and that is it! BUT we do need to teach our children our numbers. I’ve seen those phones you can buy children that only call their parents (which are wonderful), but what happens if they lose that phone, it dies, or they don’t have service?? Teaching them to memorize at least one parent’s phone number means they will always be able to call you if needed.
Your Full Name
I know this one seems silly, but you would be surprised by the amount of children that when asked, they say their parents names are “mom and dad!” Teaching your child your first and last name could really help locate you in an emergency situation. We do not all have the same last name as our children, which means we really need to teach them our last name if it is different than their name.
Now I am working mother of two toddlers and another baby on the way. I get that these things are important, but seem to get forgotten in the day to day, but it could be easier than you think. I have started asking my kids our address and my phone number every time we get in the car. It is quick and easy, but they are memorizing these important facts without even realizing it. They get so excited when they get it right and it takes like 5 seconds. They have actually gotten to the point that they ask me when we get in the car. This is just an easy way I have found to incorporate it into our day to day, but please, even if you don’t think this will work for you, find a way to teach your children the information that could help in an emergency.