How Parents Can Help
Students with proper attitudes toward themselves, their classmates, and potential dangers will be safest. They will be more likely to remain calm during emergencies, and will learn to defuse anger and avoid violence. You can help in still those attitudes in your children.
Encourage students to take all safety drills seriously. Students sometimes think drills are a waste of time. All drills are meant to ensure students are is prepared for a real emergency.
Talk with young children about fire safety. Plan and practice escape routes at home and teach them the importance of fire drills and knowing the escape routes at school as well. Let them know that drills are a way to practice safety, so they will be less worried if a surprise drill is held.
Make sure your children know how to approach, enter, and leave buses safely. They should always look for traffic and should not have loose strings, straps, or key chains that could get caught in bus doors or on other objects.
Become a visible part of your children’s school. Attend parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, and visit often. If you have the time, become a volunteer in the school. Your presence helps you better understand what your children are doing, and you also provide visual proof to other students that adults are nearby and care about the schools.
Discuss violence with your children. They see violent images on television, in movies, and in video games, and sometimes in their lives. You can help them understand the difference between fictional violence and real-life responses to problems; you can also help them decide what to do when faced with violent situations.
Provide care, supervision, and activities for your children. After-school programs in churches, scouts, sports, and schools build self-esteem in children and give them alternatives to dangerous or illegal activities. Volunteer work, too, allows them to grow and become responsible.
Understand the warning signs of troubled youth, both in your children and their friends. While these aren’t absolute predictors of children who will become aggressive or violent, they indicate children who are likely having problems and need help. The signs include withdrawing from friends or activities, excessive feelings of isolation and/or rejection, feelings of persecution, low school interest and poor academic performance, expressions of violence in writings and drawings, uncontrolled anger, patterns of bullying or intimidating others, chronic discipline problems, and being a victim of abuse or violence.
Listen and show respect to your children. Encourage them to try out new skills, to learn from their mistakes, and to discuss their feelings and problems. Teaching them to solve conflicts and complete work themselves helps them to become more knowledgeable and self-confident. In addition, play and laugh with your children. Share their childhood.