Sending the kids back to school at the end of summer evokes different emotions – happiness to gain some relief from the incessant “I’m bored” comments, but also some nerves as, once again, your kids are out of your site and left to a certain level of independent responsibility. All you can do, though, is train them in the right and responsible ways of conducting themselves as it pertains to their safety and hope that they make smart decisions based on that. Beyond School Bus Safety, here are some other key topics to be sure to address with your children to prepare them for their school year.
Although we must teach our children to be polite and respectful to others, we must also train them to know when it is inappropriate for an adult to be speaking with them. Be sure to explain that it is ok for a teacher or parent volunteer at their school to have a conversation with them, give them directions for what to do, or instruct them as to where to go. However, an example of what is not ok is for a stranger on the playground to start talking with them, asking questions about them, or telling them to go somewhere. Be sure to distinguish between a known and trustworthy adult versus an unidentified stranger. An important fact that needs to be made clear to your children, as well, is that there is no need to be polite or respectful when it comes to somebody trying to harm them. If they feel threatened or if a stranger is acting inappropriately, it is absolutely ok to run away to a teacher or to fight back, if necessary – no need for politeness then.
Picking up your kids from school can sometimes be rather chaotic. Whether you are in a car line to pick them up or waiting for them to come out of the door, there is a good chance there is a brief period of time where another adult could be speaking to them before you have a chance to connect. Instruct your children to stay directly with their teacher until they have seen you. Once they do see you, they should come straight to you without stopping to talk to friends or anyone else. With so many parents and kids around, it would not be difficult for someone will ill intent to quickly take advantage of this scenario. This same rule applies for dropping off, as well - head straight to the classroom after being dropped off without stopping to talk to anyone.
Oftentimes, the danger to our children is not a criminal adult but rather another child. These are the more every day types of situations that your children may not be equipped to know how to properly handle. Kids can be ruthless when it comes to making fun of or hurting other kids. Be sure to demonstrate how well loved your children are at home, and that no matter what anyone else at school says, they are special and loved. Build up your children’s confidence at home by reinforcing everything good they are doing. If children are taught to believe in themselves, they are less likely to be swayed by bullies intending harm. If consistent bullying is taking place, though, you and your children should speak to school administration as to what is occurring. If children find themselves in immediate danger from a bully, they should do whatever it takes to remove themselves from that situation, if possible, and tell a teacher right away. Your children deserve a safe and respectable school environment.
For advice on keeping your children safe and secure while at home, reach out to us at Watch Guard Alarms today!