Child Safety at School –
A Parent’s Guide
Sending your child off to school each day can be scary because you are not there to guide them through every part of their day. Here are some tips for keeping your child out of harm’s way, even when you’re not around.
1. Talk to your child about their day.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as asking how their day was, or asking what they learned in school that day. This small act of curiosity about your child’s life can show them that you are interested in how they are doing and what they are up to, which can open up the conversation about more difficult things that they may be dealing with.
You can also ask if they see anyone being bullied, or if they are experiencing bullying themselves. Look out for warning signs in their behavior, such as a sudden drop in their grades, torn-up clothing, loss of friends, or loss of appetite.
2. Monitor their online activity.
Unfortunately, bullying nowadays doesn’t end when your child gets home from school. They may be exposed to bullying and unwanted remarks through social media or other websites. It’s important to establish ground rules for internet use. If your child is being cyberbullied, keep screenshots of the evidence, and if it is severe, consider involving the school or the police.
Talk to your child about the implications of posting online and the potential consequences that can come out of posting, viewing, or engaging with inappropriate content.
You can also talk to their school and ask how the children utilize computers in the classroom if that is applicable. Ask how the children are being monitored during using the internet and if there are limits on what type of websites can be accessed.
3. Plan a safe route home for your kids.
If your children walk home from school every day, make sure they have a safe route that is away from busy crossroads or dangerous streets. Talk about how it is important to stay around other kids when possible, and avoid talking to strangers. Remind them to pay attention to their surroundings, and avoid texting or being on their phone while walking or biking. Walking or biking home from school can open the door to a new world of bullying, so it is imperative to have these conversations with your children so they know the safest way to get home, or you can arrange for them to be picked up each day.
4. Open up the conversation about bullying.
This starts by establishing healthy communication standards with your children. If they feel safe talking to you about problems they are experiencing in other areas of life, they will likely have no issue coming to you with problems surrounding being bullied. Ensure that they know what bullying is and how to establish boundaries with classmates if they feel uncomfortable. This can include walking away from a situation, calmly standing up for themselves, or telling a trusted adult at school about the problem.
Furthermore, teach them what to do if they see another child being bullied. The best thing to do here is to teach them to report what they saw to a trusted adult.
Additional Information on Helping Your Child with Bullying
If you are looking for more resources to open up the conversation about bullying with your child, consider reading books or watching movies and tv shows that teach kids about respect and bullying. Watching or reading this type of media with your child can help them dig deeper into their emotions, and help them open the conversation and seek guidance from you or another trusted adult.
Looking for a great series to dive into with your little one? Consider reading the Junga the Dancing Yeti series, where a young yeti learns the importance of respect and how to navigate the world with kindness. Along with this book series, you can enjoy the Junga the Dancing Yeti animated films, too. Visit jungayeti.com for more information on these books, or motivatedtoact.org to donate to the anti-bullying foundation that sponsors the making of these books.