Has your little one just started school for the first time? If so you’re probably feeling a mixture of all kinds of emotions. Ranging from pride and feeling a little lost without them to the hope that they actually enjoy school and the excitement of all the new experiences they’re going to have.
However, many parents also feel a sense of worry, and anxiety when their kids head off to school. What if they’re bullied? Or get hurt? How will they be safe?
Keeping your kids safe at school can seem like an impossible task. Afterall, they’re not within your immediate reach. But, with a little bit of guidance and help you can teach your kids how to be safe at school and with any luck make yourself feel better about the whole experience too.
Read on for some helpful tips.
On school grounds
The school pick up and drop off can be a dangerous place. With speeding cars, bad parking and people rushing around, it’s enough to push your stress levels into overdrive. Teach your little ones the importance of crossing the road safely and to keep an eye out for a school crossing sign. This will ensure that they reach the other side safely with the help of a crossing guard, if you’re not around.
Teach them not to go between cars, and to keep back from the kerb. Most importantly, they shouldn’t leave school grounds without you and if for whatever reason they can’t see you at pick up time, they should stick with their teacher. Now is a good time to teach them about stranger danger, and that if anyone offers them a ride under whatever pretence, they should decline and speak to a teacher first.
Let them know that there are no secrets
Its important to encourage a “no secrets” culture at home. That way your kids will know that they can come to you with anything they’re worrying about or having difficulty with. From bullying to abuse, your child should be able to tell you if they think something is wrong and that they need help.
Ensure no subjects are considered taboos – the more you repress a subject the more secretive your child might become and the further away from safety they’ll be.
Be a school presence
Volunteer to help out at school as much as you can. You don’t have to fully immersed in your child’s class but offer to help out at school clubs, fetes and other events as much as possible. Becoming a presence at school will give your child a sense of safety, yet still allowing them their independence.
It’s important that your little ones understand that giving respect to others is different to being friends with everyone. If you show respect, then you’ll get respect back. Kindness and respect go a long way in a school environment, and this applies to fellow students and adults. Being disrespectful could trigger a bad relationship with a teacher or another student.