The safety of our children is paramount, and the majority of their childhood revolves around school - education, before/after-school activities, friends they have, and people from school with whom they associate. It is ideal to be actively engaged with your children about topics relating to school including:
- Grades & schoolwork: Express the importance of doing well in school, as it correlates to positivity.
- Safety going to and coming from school: If your child walks or rides the bus to school, remind him to always be aware of his surroundings and not to be fixated on his phone/iPod/etc. Also reinforce "stranger danger" and suggest that he not walk alone or be the only one at the bus stop - especially at night.
- Extra-curricular activities: Support your child’s interest in participating in extra-curricular activities. It promotes a well-rounded child, and gives him something to do - a child who has nothing to do and is "bored" will tend to get himself into trouble.
- Friends & after-school activities: Try to get to know the people with whom your child associates. Get to know his close friends so you can have a better understanding with whom your child spends most of his time. If your child does not come straight home after school, it is the correct thing to do to tell him to let you know where and with whom he is with at all times.
- School issues: Not only is it important to know what is going on in your child’s life relating to school but it is also important to know what is going on at your child’s school (e.g. rise in gang affiliation among students, bullying, violence, etc). Your knowledge of these issues can help you pass on information to your child about how to protect himself as well as address them to the school administration.
If your schedule permits, it is important to be actively engaged with your child’s school, and being a member of the PTA is the easiest way to accomplish this. Also, make time to talk to your child’s teachers and/or school administrators to address any concerns you may have.
You can go to http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/school-safety/schools.pdf for ten simple things you can do to make your child’s school a safer place.
You can also go to http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/school-safety/saferschools.pdf for tips on how to work with the school and other parents to make school a safer place.