My Family Rules – Be Aware of Your Surroundings

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I have had these rules in my home for a while.  They are somewhat funny and sarcastic but very very real that I teach my children both directly and indirectly.  I want to share my family rules with you.  The first of which is be aware of your surroundings.  I always think of the TV show “Psych” when I think of this rule.

I have covered my son’s eyes before, told my daughter to close her eyes, and asked, “how many hats?” “how many red cars are in this parking lot?” “how many women are here?” It’s interesting how much you register that you don’t even realize and how much you can recall when you are put on the spot.


This first and very obviously teaches my children safety.  If something is out of place, it probably should be watched with caution.  How would you get out of this building?  Is this person a threat?  Why is that person so close to us?

My family rules - be aware of your surroundings - crowded place

In a crowd I have them pick out where we are going and have them lead us.  If they make a mistake, we all follow and I let them figure it out.  It’s important they figure out to look around and figure out where they are going.  What if we were separated?  Would they be able to find their way back to our emergency meeting spot (which we pick out each time we are in a big crowd).

Notice people

I talk to people.  I have never had a problem talking to anyone.  People tell you the deepest things about them without saying a word sometimes.  Ask any magician or a good psychologist and they will tell you mannerisms and tone speak louder than words.  I am no master, but I know my fair share of this truth.

my family rules - be aware of your surroundings - magic trick

I want my children to know if someone is good or if they should stay away from them (especially as children).  I want them to be able to choose their friends wisely.  If someone is having a hard time, I want my children to have compassion for their situation.  At the same time, I know there will be a situation where my children will see someone showing aggressive signs and they can avoid the situation, remove themselves from what could happen, or (if they have to) defend themselves.  All because they saw what was coming.

Eventually, this will help them with whatever business they decide to go in.  Reading people is a trait that is hard to teach so if you grow up with it, that is a gift. You can tell the office snake, or the guy that has your back because you have already had those experiences and you can see the signs from learning them as a kid.


my family rules - be aware of your surroundings - blindfold

Understanding your gut is something most of us can do better.  I have been burned so many times because I ignored my gut and wanted to give someone the benefit of the doubt.  If my children have a “bad feeling” that’s it.  The conversation ends there and we leave.  I trust them and I want them to trust themselves.

My oldest has a strong instinct.  We have had a lot of conversations about her “bad feelings” I ask her if there is anything specific or if we can remove one thing of the situation maybe… I want her to be able to pinpoint the thing that she is uncomfortable with.  Sometimes she can, other times is a whole circumstance.

I understand this, I am sensitive too and most of the time, I am correct if I stick around long enough to find out.  I have even seen things in the news that confirmed my instinct or had things happen in the future that would have affected the decision I was faced with negatively.  The point is, we have a gut instinct for a reason, my children are taught to trust it.

my family rules - be aware of your surroundings - help someone

Help people

People who are aware are able to do little things to help people.  My children’s dad and I were walking to the store one day and I saw a woman pushing her husband in a wheelchair.  They were going up a hill and she was ok, but you could tell she was getting tired (if you were aware).  Generally, he was very aware of his surroundings but this time he was talking and talking, not paying attention.  We were about to pass them and I saw that he was not going to notice how she needed help.

I slowed almost to a stop, I said something like, “Hey, Help her!” He realized how oblivious he was being and was quite taken aback.  He slowed to talk to her and ask if he could help push him for her.  She of course said that she was ok.  He insisted, she allowed him to take the wheelchair.  He only pushed the man for maybe a couple blocks and we made some good conversation with the couple as we walked with our baby and them.

my family rules - be aware of your surroundings - woman pushing a wheelchair

It was only a little time for us, who knows what it meant for this lady and her husband.  Because we (I) were aware of our surroundings we were able to bless this couple.

Life or Death

Honestly, they probably won’t ever be in a situation that is life or death.  These skills could help if they ever were, otherwise, they will just make their lives better.  These skills will help them with the little things, like helping someone who just needs a little of their time, or with a big thing, like getting a job they want.  It doesn’t take anything extra for them to think about, it’s just a blessing they live with.

Teach Them
Test Them
Let Them Thrive

my family rules - be aware of your surroundings - s boogie boarding

Peace and Balance,


My Family Rules – Be Aware of Your Surroundings

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14 thoughts on “My Family Rules – Be Aware of Your Surroundings

  1. Hi there. I love this article. The amazing values that you are sharing with your kids are a must for every parent. We usually teach our chilren what is right and wrong, but teaching your child to be aware of their surrounding has to be intentional. The tips you share here good for everyone irrespective of age. I really love the tip on noticing people. In a world where most people avoid looking at each other or making eye contact (unless they are directly communicating with one another), taking the time to notice others will increase one’s self awareness and awareness of other’s characters. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It’s true it doesn’t matter the age! The younger the better but it’s not too late with older ones! That is another thing that is lacking in this world, eye contact! Something else I show my children in every day life and we could all get better at. Thank you for the comment Chris!

  2. You hit the nail on the head with the trusting your gut. That’s so important to
    do. And you are right, everyone could probably do that a bit more and benefit
    by it. Me included.
    Become aware of your surroundings and help those around you. Absolutely!
    Very good reminders for some and lessons for others.
    Thank you!

  3. An interesting approach to teaching kids. When it is done in a playful way, they might really develop a sense for spotting the bad situations, bad people, and the good ones, as well. I always thought that, either you are born with it and have it, or you don’t. My daughter, a grown up now, is the kind of person who is often driven by her gut feeling and almost always proven right. I did teach her, of course to be mindful, caring and careful and all that, but I never thought of actually intentionally developing this feeling in her. I am the totally opposite, my husband sometimes says I trust people too much-I couldn’t spot a bad person even if it would be written on his/her forehead. I’d still leave a chance to be proven the opposite, even though I had been burnt countless times.
    Anyway, a very helpful piece of article for many moms with younger children, well done!

    1. I think it is a bit of nature and nurture, my older son is oblivious to everything, but he can tell you ‘how many hats’ are in a room. Trusting your gut is something that you have to continuously tell yourself it’s ok to do. We (especially as women) are shown over and over again that we should be pushing our feelings and our gut reactions down and listening to ‘our man’ (or whatever represents that without sounding too sexist). We are told we are being irrational etc and then we are put in a situation where we are very uncomfortable. Its a learning process to listen to your gut, instincts, whatever you want to call it. It can be taught to notice things tho.

  4. Great rules to live by whether for kids or adults. I think if kids are more aware of their surroundings, they will be safer and kinder. Like if someone else needs help with something, they will offer their assistance without being asked or told to.
    But during this coronavirus pandemic, we teach our kids to stay close with us out in public and to not touch things unnecessarily. Wearing masks and practicing social distancing makes it even more important to be aware of your surroundings. And when helping others, to ask permission first and practice good hygiene afterwards. Thanks for a great post!

  5. Hi Mommy, This are very good thing to make kids think about. Theses lessons need to be teach to kids but theses days “in 2020” some adult need to learn those lessons two because some have forgotten them!

  6. Love it. You are teaching your kids very important lessons about their safety, making decisions, helping others. It’s wonderful. I salute you. Thank you for sharing this article.

  7. Interesting, i think multi tasking mums have the biggest role to play. Yes children need to be more mindful from a young age about the dangers in society without overloading them of the stresses we have as adults. I myself have come across a similar situation an elderly women was struggling with a heavy gym bag and her fit and healthy son was just waltzing along beside her, so I nudged my friend and said look, he can see that she’s struggling, he then took the bag from her.

    1. It’s so beneficial to see what is going on around you, that’s for sure! At least the young man figured out what was going on and took the bag! Thank you so much for your comment!

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