How to Ensure the Safety of Your Kids in School?
Ways to help secure our children in school...
When your kids get old enough to head off to school, it can be a frightening experience for you. As a parent, you want to do everything possible to keep your children safe. When they're not in your physical presence, it may seem more difficult to provide an adequate level of safety.
Here are a few different ways you can get that sense of safety with your child:
Go Over School Procedures
This may seem like one of those topics that your child is going to roll their eyes at, however, it's an important one to ensure their safety. Just allowing them the ability to know what to do when a problem arises can make all the difference in how they respond to it. There's a reason that schools have fire drills and practice lockdowns. It's to ensure that both teachers and children know just what to do. You should be able to find the school's protocol on their website. If not, simply call and ask for it.
Know Their Travel Route
Ensuring your child's safety at school also includes the travel to and from their school. There are many different ways your child could be getting to school. The school bus, a ride, driving, or even walking. It's important that you have a regular travel route established with your children. For example, if they walk to school, have them take the same roads every day. This way, if there is an issue, you can trace their steps with confidence to the school.
Discuss Emotional Concerns With Teachers
If you've gotten wind that your child is being bullied or have even witnessed the results first hand, it's time to get their teachers in the loop. While your child may not want to talk about it at first, it's important that you let them know that it isn't acceptable behavior by the other child and it needs to be addressed.
Speaking up is a trait that you want to teach your children from little up. Make sure that your child's teachers and the school officials are informed of the problem. In most cases, they'll be able to keep a better eye on what's going on between your child and the bully when they know what to look for.
Create A School Safety Committee
If you noticed that there are some things at your child's school that need to be enhanced for better safety of all students, then start a safety committee. This is a great way to create a group that will have influence over the ways safety is handled at the school. For instance, you may notice that the parent drop-off before and after school is working in a disorganized fashion. Students are just jumping out of vehicles on the roadway as traffic backs up.
Your new safety committee can come up with a solution to reduce the disorganization and focus more on safety during drop-off times. Once you have a solution, you can go to the school board as a whole committee of parents who are concerned about the safety of their children. For added support, involve those in the local community as well, such as teachers, homeowners living by the school, and so forth. The more people behind your cause the better chance you have at seeing the solution you want.
Tell Them Who To Report Problems To
One reason that suspicious activity and bullying are not taken care of is that they're never reported. Many children just don't know who to tell so they just decide to tell no one at all. You should teach your child to air their concerns to a designated person. This could be their teacher, the principal, or someone else. You should go over a list of scenarios that they should report so that you're both on the same page. For example, if they notice an unfamiliar person offering students a ride home or they see a child getting bullied on the playground, they should know these instances need to be reported to an adult.
Use of Technology Assistance
While you may feel that your children have enough technology, it's important to realize the assistance this type of technology can give you. A simple cellphone can allow you to track your child's whereabouts throughout the day so you can ensure that they make it to and from school safely each day. You can monitor social media accounts and text messages to ensure that your child is not being bullied or isn't the one doing the bullying. Technology can be a great aid that can let you stay on top of your child's safety while at school.
Ensure School Records Are Up-To-Date
Each school contains electronic records of each child. This includes a wide range of information such as their address, parent contact information, classes, teachers, medications, disabilities, allergies and so forth. To ensure that your child is treated safely while at school, ensure that the information in their record is correct. Things like knowing what medications your child is on and what their allergies are can help the school nurse or another medical professional treat your child in the event that they become injured or ill.
Get To Know Their Friends
One of the best ways to ensure your child's safety at school is to help them build up a network of friends that they can trust. While you can't be your child's wingman in school, you can help by getting to know their friends and their interests. When you get to know your children's friends a little better, you can help to ensure that your child is creating a valuable relationship.
In addition, you'll want to meet the parents of your children's friends so that you can stay up-to-date with the happenings at school with each other. You should consider having weekly or monthly get-together with the parents and kids. Whether it's simply a movie night or tutoring session, just getting everyone together can make a world of difference in understanding your children's relationships.
Teach Them The Importance Of Respect
You may be wondering just how respect has anything to do with your child's safety at school. However, respect is a general term used to describe the way your child treats others around them. When your child is respectful to others, most others will give it back in stride. Just the simple teaching of how respect can create a peaceful atmosphere with those around them can go a long way into ensuring they create a safe environment at school.
Create An Open Topic Culture At Home
One of the most harmful things you can do as a parent is creating a non-open culture at home. You should be willing to discuss any topic with your children, regardless of its nature. When your children feel they can come to you with any problem or question they have, they'll be more likely to voice up about problems they're having at school. When you have certain topics that you brush away from talking about, it will create a closed culture at home. Your kids will find it harder to bring up topics that really bother them because they'll be worried that you'll brush off the topic.
Become A Visible Presence
You don't need to wait around for months until back to school night comes around. You can get involved in your child's school by simply volunteering, offering to be part of planning committees, joining the PTA, and so forth. A simple look online at the school's website and Facebook page can allow you to discover what's going on in the school. You'll be notified of opportunities to get more involved where you can learn more about the administrators, teachers, and other parents.
Talk About Joke Threats
With the rise in social media and its ease of use, many schools are seeing an increase in threats from students. These threats are no joking matter and you should explain to your children just how detrimental they can be to their future. While you may think that it's common sense not to threaten things like shooting and bombings, children can turn these threats into a game.
You should not let your children fall victim to these pressures from their peers. Talk with them about these types of threats and what can result from posting them on social media. Don't shy away from picking out real-life examples from schools that have reacted to threats made by their students via social media postings.
Make Sure They Have Emergency Contact Information
Your child should have your contact information readily available as well as contact information for other family members or friends who can be responsible for them in your absence. As a parent, it's your responsibility to ensure that your children are in good hands when you're unable to be by their side. The experts at SimpleLifeInsure.com know this all too well, which is why they suggest having your life insurance in order as soon as you have kids. This way, their future is in good hands, even if the worst happens.
Teach Them About The Buddy System
We're sure that if you remember back to your old school or camp days, your parents taught you the importance of the buddy system. The concept is that you have more power in numbers than you do alone. You should be teaching your child the same lesson. Have them get at least one buddy they'll have to do things like eat lunch, go to recess, or simply walk down the hall with while at school. It's much easier for children to be vulnerable when they're alone. So, prevent that vulnerability by simply having your child pair up with another or many other children while at school.
Explain Appropriate Vs. Inappropriate Relationships
One area that many parents tend to pass over when speaking with their children about school safety is inappropriate relationships. This is another one of those areas that may seem like common sense as an adult, but can still be a confusing area for a child. Speak with your child about inappropriate relationships and gestures that they should tell you about if they find themselves in.
This includes defining what inappropriate touching may be from a teacher or parent. This is likely going to be an awkward conversation between you and your child, but it's one that you need to have. It's better to define what's inappropriate from the start so that, if your children ever experience this type of situation, they know it's wrong and what to do next.
Stay Involved With Your Kid's Schooling
Kids are some of the biggest gossipers without even knowing it. From hearing what Mr. Smith did when a student shot a spitball at him knowing that little Johnny had his dad's pocket knife in his backpack yesterday, your kid is a great source of information. Stay active in their school life by asking them about their day. Children that get into the habit of sharing their school life with their parents will continue to do so throughout their later years in high school.
Start by creating that habit of life, sharing early with your children. This way, when things that threaten their safety pop up, you can be informed of them. While your child may not have reacted to Johnny having a pocket knife in his backpack, you certainly can. It's even a great idea to reinforce what your child should do if the situation happens again in the future. There's no better way for your child to learn how they should react to a specific situation than going over that situation as it unfolds.
Keeping your children safe while at school can be done in many different ways. The best parents will have multiple tactics that they employ to stay active in their child's life and their school. If you feel as if you don't have control over your child's safety while they're at school, hopefully, the array of tips above will help you regain that sense of control and peace of mind.