Your main job as a parent is to keep your children safe. But that is much easier said than done. How do you protect your child against bullies at school? What about other dangers like drugs, gangs, or the threat of violence?
It’s a scary thought for a parent to have . . . but before you lose too much sleep worrying about your child, read these 6 simple solutions to help your kids stay safe at school.
Your child should know your phone number and feel confident that you will answer if they ever need to get in contact with you. Teach your children their address, your phone number, and have a meeting place in case of emergency.
Additionally, keep open lines of communication in the home. No matter what your children tell you, don’t act judgmental. They should feel comfortable to confide in you about anything. This will make it easier for them to tell you scary or uncomfortable things when and if the time comes.
On the flipside, you need to familiarize yourself with the safety protocol of their school.
Does your child’s school use a security software system like KeepnTrack that only gives certain individuals permission to check your child out? Does your child’s school use security software to screen visitors, run sex offender checks, and criminal background checks? Do you know your child’s school emergency drills?
Learn more about what your child’s school is doing to ensure their safety and security and do your part to support it.
Actively volunteering at your child’s school is one of the best things you can do as a parent to ensure their safety.
Being present and seeing what is actually happening in their classrooms and on the playground is key to being able to protect them and prevent any potential problems.
You should also be present in their life outside of school. Is your child involved in any extracurricular activities? What do they do in their free time? Who are their friends? What are they interested in?
Get your child involved in classes and find healthy activities or hobbies for them to participate in during their free time. If your child is feeling neglected, lonely, or bored they may become more susceptible to negative influences and bad company.
You can avoid trouble by filling their time and attention with healthy outlets they enjoy!
It might be difficult to support your children’s extracurricular activities, but if your child expresses an interest in a healthy hobby or activity do your best to support them—no matter what it is.
Similarly, you may not love your children’s friends as much as they do, but the fact that your children are forming friendships with other good kids is a positive thing in their life. Have them over to your house, set up play dates, and be somewhat involved with their relationships.
Make your children feel like you are their best support system. They can come to you with questions, concerns, stories, and dreams. They should feel excited to ask for your help in achieving things they desire in life.
Actively listening, asking questions, and being tuned in to your child is the best way to stay involved and help your children stay safe at school.
As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. Listen to what your kids tell you (or don’t tell you) about their day at school, their friends, and the things that are going on in their little world.
Be cognoscente of how they are acting. Do they seem down? Are they more quiet and reserved than normal? Are they sensitive or easily upset by particular things you say or do?
Don’t be afraid to ask them some tough questions. Your children may feel embarrassed to open up and confide in you if they are being bullied. It also helps to prepare your reaction and response appropriately so they feel comfortable to confide in you again in the future.
Remember . . . you don’t need to pry into their life, but knowing that you are a trustworthy and supportive, if and when they need you, is the key.
Social media has become a staple of our culture. You can’t shelter your children from it forever. If you are worried about the social media aspect of your kid’s lives, try a new approach—embrace it.
Sign up for social sites your kids use and add them as friends. Learn about it and teach them or talk to them about your concerns. Don’t be afraid to explain your concerns—after all, it’s their interest you have in mind.
Monitor what they are looking at, but trust them enough to avoid engaging in bad things on the Internet. Provide a limit to the use of it. But rather than just having a rule . . . explain the benefits of not being in constant connection. Sometimes it’s nice to just “shut off”, go outside, and get away from the constant ties to social engagement.
Try not to worry too much about your children. You can’t protect them from everything. Do your best to be supportive and open and you will be doing a great job.