Who doesn’t love to be called mommy or daddy? Although children typically refer to their parents or loved ones by nicknames, it’s very important they know real names as well. If they can say a nickname, they can also say a real name.
Start by teaching them their own name. Just as children often have nicknames for their parents or guardians, you may have one for them. If you are constantly calling them something other than their own name it won’t be helpful to anyone that may find or be trying to help your child.
It also won’t be helpful if the only name they can give for their caretaker is mommy, daddy, auntie, grandma, etc. Start with the first name of the person that most often takes them places. Trying to teach them too much at once can become overwhelming for a small child. Once they have the first name accomplished, move on to the last name.
Do this for each person they are ever left in the care of. In the event they are ever separated from their caregiver, it is very important they be able to communicate some information – even if just a name.
Even if they don’t have the names mastered yet, telling them what to do if they are ever separated from you is important. Teach them to stay in the same place and not to go looking for you. If they start wandering around a store, it’s easy for them to get lost and will be harder for you to find them.
Tell them to yell your name if they know it, otherwise to yell out whatever they call you by. This is very helpful as you can find them more quickly. Especially if they were to wander off in a store where there are shelving units, clothing racks, and other things, spotting a small child is not easy.
Being able to hear them will help in the search, allowing you to find them more quickly. This will also bring attention to them from other adults who will likely jump in to help keep the child safe until you are reunited.