How to talk to your kids about school safety is an important part of keeping them safe. As parents we all want to protect our kids. If we could we would shield them from ever having to know about the potentially scary things they are at risk for. Unfortunately it is impossible to keep them safe without having to talk to your kids about safety. Children spend the majority of their days in a school building. School safety is crucial in the overall well being of your children.
Never too soon
It is never too soon to talk to your kids about school safety. In the United States children start school at about age 4-5 in preschool and kindergarten. Teaching school safety should start before they even take their first bus ride. It is important to take into consideration the emotional maturity of the children and adjust the message accordingly.
Talk to your kids about school safety without scaring them
The first conversations should include dangers, however the goal is not to scare them but to empower them. Teach kids to pay attention to their surroundings and to be aware. Talk to them about what red flags they may see and who to speak to if they see them.
Kids are like sponges soaking up information and learning at every turn. Kids can have an amazing intuition and teaching them to pay attention to that is important. The body’s instinct is powerful. Teach your child what anxiety and fear looks like and feels like.
The gift of fear
Teach your children that fear is a gift. Talk about what fear looks like and what it feels like. Maybe it is a rumbly feeling in their tummy. It could be the feeling of wanting to run away. Remind them that fear can feel scary but it can be a gift. Fear is a signal that something may not be right. Teach them to recognize fear and how to decipher if the fear is trying to tell them something. When a child can recognize fear or anxiety they will know that it is telling them to ask for help or to raise an alarm.
Often young children are more likely to run for help if they feel uncomfortable. They don’t understand the peer pressure or other reasons why someone may not tell others about red flags. Once kids start to experience peer pressure they may be embarrassed to tell on someone who may be a danger. They have fear that people won’t like them. There is so much attempt to be kind to people who are different or who might make you feel uncomfortable. Children may by-pass their own intuition in an attempt to not be judgemental of someone who is showing red flags. It is important to teach kids to love others while not letting red flags go unreported.
Talk to kids about guns and weapons. Remind them what is appropriate to have at school and what is not. If they know what they look like they will be able to recognize that something is off if they see them in a school scenario. Teach them about appropriate boundaries. Boundaries around their own behaviors. In addition they must be taught boundaries in regards to conversations that are appropriate. If they hear a student talking about guns and weapons they can then recognize that boundaries have been crossed and they need to seek help.
Communication is the key to a safer school experience. When safety values and plans are communicated well everyone benefits. Talking to kids about school safety does not have to be scary it should be empowering.
Get your school safety plan started with Alert Protection Services today.