1. Create a list of family friends or relatives to call in case they are unable to reach you in an emergency. The list should also include 911, Poison Control, your home address and phone number. Kids can panic in crisis make sure everything is spelled out for them. Keep the list in one place and never move it. If they have a cell phone, put all of those numbers in their cell phone as well.
2. Never play with knives. Or matches. Or Porn. The first two need to be told to them the latter requires parents to make sure that parental controls are on the television and computers.
3. In case they ignore the “Don’t Play with Knives” rule and decide to use one to open the plastic wrapped toy you bought them, make sure they know CPR or at the very least first aid. How to stop bleeding for example.
4. In case they ignore the “Don’t play with matches” rule or decide to cook up a four course meal, they should most definitely be instructed what to do in case of a fire. Including how to use a fire extinguisher but most importantly, “We love you way more than this house,” so GET OUT if the fire is big. Also, trying to save your Xbox is a REALLY bad idea.
5. NEVER answer the front door. EVER. (The same applies to the back door.)
6.Never tell others you are home alone. This includes posting on your Facebook wall, “OMG. My stupid parents finally trusted me enough to leave me alone. Who wants to come over?” Which leads to the next point.
7. No friends over. PERIOD. It’s a liability, a distraction and an invitation for mischief.
8. Tell them you will be home in about an hour and get back home in 30 minutes. My parents taught me this one. Brilliant move by them. I never knew when they would be home which kept me on my toes and out of trouble.
9. Instruct them to never take medicine without calling you first. Our son’s friend once took an OTC cough medicine while his parents were out. After reading the dosage of two tablespoons, he decided, and I use his words, “If two is good, eight must be better.” He was thirteen at the time. You never know when a case of the stupids will attack. Make sure you cover your bases.
10. Create a contract. Put the rules on paper. Can they go outside? Can they use the stove? And so on and so on. Read over it with your child and you both sign the contract.