School safety is something that no parent wants to have to discuss with their children, but in today’s environment, it is a conversation every parent should be having. It is important to have the tough conversation with your child to inform them or clear up any misconceptions they may have about school safety. Here is a quick overview on how to discuss school safety with your kids.
1. Let your child lead the conversation
Begin the conversation by asking your child what they have heard about school shootings or school safety, you would be surprised what they have either seen on the news or heard from friends. Follow this by dispelling any misconceptions they may have picked up from the news or from friends. Next, allow your child to ask any questions they may have. When you allow your kid to lead the conversations with questions you avoid over-explaining things that they may not be ready to hear.
2. Does Your Child’s School Have A Plan?
Some children’s initial response to the conversation will be that they don’t feel safe going back to school. If this is the case with your child, talk to them about how schools now have safety plans for an active shooter situation. A lot of schools have also begun to implement active shooter drills similar to fire drills. Ask your child if fire drills make them more worried that a fire will happen or if it makes them feel safer because they would know what to do if a fire happens. Tell them that these active shooter drills should make them feel more prepared in the case of a shooter.
3. Keep the conversation ongoing
This should not be a once and done conversation with your child. Your child will continue to hear about this topic from friends and the news, so they should also continue to be informed on this topic by you. Make sure that your child feels comfortable asking you questions about this topic whenever they arise. You want them to feel that you are someone safe that they can always come to with questions about these tough topics.