For some, 2013 may be the first year your child attends a school. What this means is both exciting and scary, because it means that the children are growing up, but that a lot of new worries are going to come into play considering they are not going to be under your wing 24/7. To better protect and keep our kids safe, in all respects, I have compiled tips from many different categories so that you can ensure that your child is as safe as you can help her or him to be.
It’s a sad day when you hear about a teacher or other school official misusing their position with children to sexually abuse them. What’s even sadder is that it is more common. You never know what you’re going to find. A couple of years ago I heard a story that a teacher was playing a “game” with students, where he would basically spoon feed them his semen that he would bottle and bring to school. I hate to share the horror story, but it is a reality that there are some sick people out there. If you’re open with your child about these kind of things (you don’t have to be that descriptive, by the way!) then you can ensure they will know what is correct and incorrect behavior for teachers.
#2. Stranger Danger
Although not everyone is a predator or kidnapper, you never know who is and who isn’t. Even people you know can be potential dangers – and I don’t say that to scare you, but it’s true! I don’t mean that you should shield your children away from the world and from socializing with other people – but you must be very particular about who you let around your kid. When they are at school, on the bus, or even with their friend’s parents, you must remind them to either go to you, go to a teacher, a firefighter, dial 911, or whatever they need to do to ensure their own safety while you are not around.
#3. Saying “No!”
Although you may tell your child that phrase as they reach for the Tootsie Roll on the table, or as they pull on your cat’s tail – they must learn to say it themselves. Tying back into the second safety tip I gave you, this is one of the biggest things that can be coupled with it. What I mean is that, in case your child (God forbid) ever is in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or are going to potentially get hurt in some manner – saying no is the first thing to do. This is one of the hardest things for kids to do, considering they are taught their whole lives to respect their elders.
Another tip – people are getting more and more crafty with how they coerce children into going somewhere with them. Be sure to leave your child’s stuff nameless visibly. Strangers can use their names, say that they are your friends, and the children will be none the wiser – until it may be too late.
All this is is a way to make sure that you, as a parent, understand what to tell your child this upcoming school year.