It’s back-to-school time, and your children will be spending much more time away from home – and your supervision – for the next nine months or so.
Overall, schools are safe for children. But many school-related stressors such as bullying, peer pressure, theft, and dangers on the walk to and from the bus stop can result in children feeling less secure.
As parents, it can be hard to accept the concerns facing your children every day, and it can be even harder to reach out to them in a positive and comfortable manner. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) recommends these tips for parents who want to help make school a safer learning experience for their children:
- Talk to your children about their day at school. Sometimes, children are facing problems but aren’t sure if they can come to you to talk. Ask your children if they see anyone being bullied, if they face problems with bullies, or if they experience anything at school that makes them uncomfortable. Teach children to resolve their problems by talking it out, walking away or telling a trusted adult instead of fighting.
- Keep track of your children’s internet use. Talk to your children about what they do online, and have an open discussion about appropriate websites. Make sure they understand they can come to you if something online makes them uncomfortable.
- Make a travel safety plan with your children. Map out a path for your children to the bus stop that avoids busy roads and intersections, and makes them feel as safe as possible on their way to school. If you’re unable to walk with your children to the bus stop, encourage them to walk with a friend and to wait at the bus stop with other children. Discuss what they should do if they are approached by a stranger.
- Talk to your children about being safe on the bus. Make sure your children know when and where their bus is scheduled to pick them up. Wait with your children at the bus stop or somewhere you can watch them. Ensure they know to always walk in front of the bus and never behind the bus, where they are out of the driver’s sight and at risk.
For tips from the NCPC on talking to your children about bullying, read more on the council’s website. If you want to help make your child’s school safer, consider getting involved with the NCPC’s Be Safe and Sound in School campaign.
Safety is not optional at Brighton. Learn more about the safety training all of our team members are given.[/text_output]