How to Keep Your Kids Safe at School This Year
As your kids go back to school, you’re probably wondering how you can keep them safe. If they use the school bus, you may worry about them walking to and from the bus stop (or even all the way to school, depending on where your house is located). Problems at school, whether physical or emotional, are always a concern. Schoolyard bullying is still a big issue, and it’s important that you address that.
How do you tackle these issues, and make sure your child is as safe as possible? As your kids integrate into the 2019-2020 school year, try these basic things:
- Teach them how to stay safe from “everyday” dangers
- Make it okay for them to talk about bad things they’ve witnessed
- Help them to work problems out on their own
- Use code words
- Check out their friends’ parents
Teach Them the Basics
Safety-wise, you first need to make sure your kids have a handle on the basics (which they can then hopefully apply to other situations as needed). Basic safety issues include things like looking both ways and using the crosswalk when crossing the street, always paying attention to surroundings, and not talking to strangers.
When it comes to your teaching approach, you should avoid making these small lessons alarmist or dramatic. After all, you want to teach your kids to be proactive and diligent, not fearful and paranoid. Try to keep the focus on how to prepare for possible danger, not about how terrible and dangerous the world is.
Let Them Know It’s Okay to Tattle
Too many parents and teachers tell kids, “Don’t be a tattletale,” without thinking of the ramifications behind that sentence.
Sure, you’re probably just referring to matters you feel are inconsequential. But if you tell your kids not to tattle, and you don’t qualify that statement, what they may actually hear is that they shouldn’t tell adults about anything.
Instead, you want to reinforce that when they really think something bad is happening, it’s important to tell a trusted adult. By teaching your kids to disclose important information, you’re also teaching them about honesty. Moreover, you’re helping to ensure they don’t end up in a dangerous situation just because they weren’t willing to talk about it.
Make Them Self-Reliant
Yes, it’s good to tell kids to be honest and open about things that make them uncomfortable or scared. But it’s equally important to teach them how to resolve conflicts. That doesn’t mean telling them that their problems are insignificant. It means guiding them to a resolution on their own, so that they know how to do it next time.
If your child comes to you and says that someone on the playground stole a toy, you can help brainstorm a solution. By working together, you’re building bridges and creating emotional intelligence in your child, which is important as he or she grows up.
Create a Code Word
This is a time-tested technique that parents have used to create safety nets for their kids, and it works even with very young kids. What you need to do is create a phrase that’s easy to remember, but hard to guess. Make sure everyone in your family knows it. Then, if you do need to have someone unfamiliar pick up your child, you can give that person the code word.
This may help to thwart kidnapping attempts, where a stranger claims that a child’s relatives said it was okay to pick him or her up. Teach your children that if anyone claims to be approved by you or other relatives, they need to ask for the code word before getting in the car.
Check on Their Friends’ Parents
Sometimes, it’s not your child’s classmates that you have to worry about; it’s their parents. Although not a common occurrence, it’s not unheard of for friends’ parents to be dangerous for your kids to be around. You need to make sure the parents around your child are safe to associate with. For that, one thing you can try is PeopleFinders.
PeopleFinders is a great option for when you want to try and make sure your kids are safe in the care of other parents. To get started, all you have to do is attempt to perform a criminal records search using the parent’s first and last name, city and state.
Once you’re sure you’ve found the right person, you may have the option of accessing deeper criminal records info, including sex offender status, arrest records, and other related records. If you are able to get that kind of information, you can then use it to help decide whether or not it’s okay to send your kids over to play.
It’s true that there’s no surefire way to make sure your children are never in a dangerous situation. However, by teaching them how to stay safe, and using PeopleFinders to try and check on other parents, you have a much better chance.
Image attribution: davit85 – stock.adobe.comTags: Children, Kidnap, Safety Tips, Stranger Danger
Categorized in: Safety