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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School: Safe People and Bullying

Can you believe it is almost time for school to start? 
The summer has really flown by, faster than I realized.

My boys will be in the 2nd, 7th, and 9th grades. Yikes! 
I have a high schooler. Unbelievable.
And, I must admit, that he is pretty fantastic.  
No girlfriend yet, but I am grooming him to be a really good catch. 

As school looms ever closer on the horizon, I was thinking about all the things that kids have to be ready to encounter these days, and it's a little overwhelming.  The academics are so much more rigorous and testing is an ever present threat. No one likes to hear that word....testing....ick.

But, safety is more in line with my major concerns.  

There are a lot of threats to our children in this world and they need to be prepared.  

Safe People

Do your children know who the safe people are in your community? At school, any teacher or administrator would be a safe person, but what about on a field trip? I constantly tell my kids to pay attention and stay with the group, if I can't be there. However, I need them to know what to do in the event that they are separated.  

We stress that any law enforcement officer is a safe person to go to, or someone in an employees uniform.  Children should never allow someone who doesn't appear to be wearing a uniform lead them anywhere, even if they say they are taking them to a police officer. We have told our kids to yell "NO" and run until they see a safe person.  

When my oldest son took a school trip to Washington, DC, we told him to stay in one place and look around for a uniformed officer or security guard.  That way his group could find him easily and he could tell the officer that his parents had told him an officer could help him if he was lost or separated. Thankfully that didn't happen. I think he was more on his toes because we HAD prepared him. 

Bullies

Does your child's school have an anti-bullying program in place? If they don't, encourage them to put one into practice. 

All of my children have been victims of bullies and it is heartbreaking to see your child treated that way.  We have role-played with all three boys about how to handle bullying situations.  Our youngest has a stutter that he is in therapy for and children have made various comments to him.  We have talked about how he can handle those comments and that he should always let his teacher know.  One of my proudest moments as a parent was when he told me this story:

  • Little Bit: "Mom, do you know what ________said to me today?"
  • Me: "What's that, sweetie?"
  • Little Bit: "He said, 'why are you talking that way?'"
  • Me: (immediately getting my hackles up) "What did you say?"
  • Little Bit: "I said, 'Because this is the way that God made me, and I have always talked like this.'"
  • Me: "That was a perfect answer. What did he say?"
  • Little Bit: "He just said, 'Oh'."
  • Me: " I am very proud of you."
I couldn't have been prouder of him right then! I was so glad that he had an answer to give and that we had practiced how to handle that situation. 

What are some of your families safety rules? Share and we can all learn form one another.



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