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children knowing their address & phone number

(21 Posts)
Nic04 Sat 19-Feb-05 23:36:32

I recently read somewhere that an 8 year old girl didn't know her home address, and also couldn't say what her surname was. I found this really odd as my 4 1/2 year old son already knows his full name, address and phone number, because we've taught him in case he ever gets lost. Does anyone else think it strange that a child of 8 wouldn't know their surname or address? I'm wondering whether it's normal at that age, or whether it's just a case of the parents neglecting to teach them to the child. Just curious.

Gwenick Sat 19-Feb-05 23:39:11

My DS is 4 and doesn't know his surname, but then it's not the easiest in the world and as a 4yr old saying it (when he does try and repeat it) it deson't sound like anything that would help someone to identify him anyhow.

Never tried teaching him the phone number, but then we only got our new line put in before Christmas and he knows he lives in Wellingborough.

I guess on the reverse side if you teach a child 'too' young their address it could be easier for someone to find out where they live IYSWIM

bobbybob Sat 19-Feb-05 23:54:35

I got dropped at Brownies one week and it was cancelled (so I must have been 8 or 9) I had my trusty 2p for the phone but didn't know my phone number. I described which row of the church my dad sat in to the vicar - so I guess I didn't know my surname either.

When we went on holiday last month, we taught ds the name of the hotel in case he got lost. We figured we'd never get him back otherwise as there was only a newspaper once a week. He also knows the name of our street (though not the number as there are only 10 houses and for the reasons Gwenick is hinting at). He's 23 months.

He also knows his full name, and proudly says it at the doctors.

BEKsmum Sun 20-Feb-05 00:13:43

My ds will be 3 in a couple of weeks and he knows his name & the first line of our address, but not our phone number.

One friend suggested that we should teach him 999 in case of emergencies but I'm not sure about that as he may use it when it's not an emergency which would be a nightmare. What does everyone else think?

I must admit I hadn't really thought about what Gwenick was saying but she is right. We have started to teach him about stranger danger and thankfully this is being taught in his pre-school too through the use of the little red riding hood story.

Nic04 what do you tell your child to do if they get lost?

Gwenick Sun 20-Feb-05 00:15:44

I'm going to teach DS 999 sometime soon, yes there's a chance he may dial on purpose when it's not needed (well he's already done that aged about 18 months ). But on the other hand if I was to have an accident while at home if I could either tell him 'ring 999 like mummy showed you' or he remembers how to do it on his own that would be much better.

Levanna Sun 20-Feb-05 00:25:58

I'd have thought that she either hasn't been taught, or has had difficulty retaining it for some reason? DD1 has known our full address since 2 and a half. But, she often swaps the house number with the phrase "new house", ie "New house, Cross Street, etc . We moved here when she was about 2 and a half, but she still thinks of it as the new house. In terms of being cautious about teaching a child their address in case it allows a dodgy stranger to find out where the child lives; a dodgy stranger would only need to follow the child (awful thought I know) to find this out anyway.

Chandra Sun 20-Feb-05 00:27:55

Well, he can barely say his own name atm but we will go into that soon, he is less than 2 BTW.

I would also like to teach him that whenever he loose track of us he needs to return to the last place in which we were together instead of going around trying to find us. Some friends' daughter got lost during a holiday, the parents only needed to trace back their own steps in order to find her. I thought it was very useful and a good adition to knowing the complete name of her parents, telephone, and address. (no mobiles at the time but made it still easy to locate her)

Gwenick Sun 20-Feb-05 00:38:45

this link has some useful tips on how to teach your child to be 'safe', strangers and what to do if they get lost

BEKsmum Sun 20-Feb-05 00:45:50

Did you get your knuckles wrapped Gwenick? What you say is true though, at least if you were to need help they would be able to get it.

The husband of the friend who suggested we teach him 999 is a fireman bytw and he said that the child should ask for all the emergency services and in cases where a child does call 999 it is the norm to send all three services which is pretty reassuring.

Chandra I like that idea. My sister in law tells her kids to stand still and not to move as mummy or daddy will always come and find them and that if anyone tries to forcibly move them then they should kick them really hard unless of course it's a policeman . Another friend puts a business card with her contact details on it in her daughters pocket or if they are going somewhere realy busy she writes all the important info on a napkin or hankerchief and puts that in her daughters pocket instead.

Going back to what Nic04 was saying, did the article say if there was any reason the girl didn't know her address like Levanna suggested, as I too would have thought she would know it by that age.

Gwenick Sun 20-Feb-05 00:47:56

No they were very sweet about it and thankfully I got to the phone before they'd actually 'sent' anyone out - apparently he'd been gurgling down the phone at them so had 'suspected' it was a kid........but if I hadn't have got to the phone when I did then I'd have had the whole lot turn up on my door step

BEKsmum Sun 20-Feb-05 00:50:58

Hey but think of all those men in uniform banging on your door!!! On that note I'm off to bed as it's my turn to get up with the little monster, I mean darling in the morning - night all.

bobbybob Sun 20-Feb-05 01:57:17

Just asked my son where he lives after writing he knows I thought I would check. He announced he lived in the "Crumpetty Tree", when asked if that was right he decided he lived at "Edward's station with the fat controller"

Made me smile, but not much use in an emergency.

Chandra Sun 20-Feb-05 02:24:05

I would imagine DS answering the question in a single word: home

Hulababy Sun 20-Feb-05 16:12:02

DD (2y 10m) knows her full name, and her approx address. She knows we live in Sheffield and at West One (name of our apartments) on which floor. But she can struggles to remember the apartment number and block name at the moment. She doesn't know our telephone number though.

Friend's DS (3y 5m) has memorised his telephone number, as well as those of about 4 or 5 of close family/friends.

Hulababy Sun 20-Feb-05 16:13:13

Been wondering about teaching her 999 too.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 20-Feb-05 16:21:53

DS1 (3y 5m) knows his full name (all four names!), both his dad's name and mine, and where we live - can give directions, and more or less knows our address. But he's inclined to give random responses to "where do you live": the moon, France, Canada. He also thinks he's: Tom the Cabin Boy (Captain Pugwash), Zot (American comic book), Spiderman, Dash (The Incredibles), etc etc.

I should probably try to avoid misplacing him in the near future.

iota Sun 20-Feb-05 16:25:48

Both my children have their names in their coats etc for school and nursery. ds1 (5) knows his name address and phone no, but not ds2 (3).

When we went on a trip to London last autumn, I put sticky labels on their T shirts with our mobile phone number on it and a message saying "my name is xxx, if I am lost please call my dad on xxxxxxxxxx". I told them that they must ask a shop assistant or someone in uniform for help.

Must admit that I cribbed this idea from Legoland, where they hand out sticky labels for this purpose.

Hulababy Sun 20-Feb-05 16:30:15

When we go out to crowded places and day trips, etc. DD wears an ID bracelet thing. We bought a load of paper ID bracelets for when we went to Disney last summer. We have her name and a contact number on it and it is stuck round her wrist. It also has an ID number on it - and we have the ID number (a tear off bit) in our wallet.

Got them from here .

We also have a reusable one too - where you put the info inside the leather/plastic wristband. But DD only has small wrists and finds this a little uncomfortable right nwo. Will use that more as she gets older.

BEKsmum Sun 20-Feb-05 16:35:58

NQC this made me lol.

sobernow Sun 20-Feb-05 16:42:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maisystar Sun 20-Feb-05 16:46:41

just asked ds his name and he said **, then asked him his surname and he said frankincense(his middle name is frank)

he knows his address and the area of sheffield we live in but not our pnone no.

i have also told him under what circumstances he is to phone 999. am single parent and don't like the thought of lying at the bottom of the stairs for 2 days!!

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