How To Talk to Kids About Dangers At School

Thanks to the existing environment, there has become a constant fear among parents of what to tell their kids and how much. Every topic seems to be far reaching and hard to discuss.

This is an unexpected time we have come to. From being a parent who talks to their kid about every aspect of life to not knowing what to say. My 7 year old son’s school recently had a lock down incident. No one was  in danger according to school but the world lock-down itself sends chills down us parents’ spines.

Our local high school’s pep rally was cancelled because some kid decided to threaten some others on social media. Many kids did not go to school for fear of danger.

“What do you tell kids when they say that they are scared to go to school? “, Jasmine Turner of Nbc12 news channel asked me.

Aditi Wardhan Singh on Nbc12 Talking About How To Talk to Kids About Dangers and School Shootings At School

My Answer

How to Talk to kids About School Shootings | Talking to Kids About Dangers At school | having Difficult conversations with kids

For all kids, first ask them what they know. ? Start by asking what your child/teen already has heard about the events from the media and from friends. Listen carefully; try to figure out what he or she knows or believes. Even if you yourself do not discuss with the kids, often they will have friends who tell them what is going on. Be aware of what your child knows and how they are processing the information.

As your child explains, listen for misinformation, misconceptions, and underlying fears or concerns. Gently correct misconceptions and wrong notions. 

“What You Are Feeling Is Real”

No matter what the emotion, you need to accept it. And work through it. Talk about it. Take the time to process it. Even if it is just fear. You cannot deny that we need to accept that the fear of being in danger is a very personal and real fear and every kid can feel it. Not just you, every child in the school feels the same feelings at different times. And every parent of that child feels the same. It’s okay to be scared.

“You Cannot Let Fear Stop You” 

Fear can have the capacity of paralyzing you. You have to overcome this anxiety. We cannot let the fear of the unknown ruin our today or the possibility that today brings for us. Every moment, every step holds an unknown. But most of our lives is in our hands.

“If You See Something If You Say Something”

The times have changed from tattling to standing up for what is right. You can provide important information that may prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what you know or hear.

If you see a friend being bullied or a kid left behind (metaphorically), stand by them. Be there for someone who has no one. If you notice someone who you feel might need professional help, or that makes you uncomfortable or fearful tell your teachers or parents. If you see someone threatening something on social media, bring it to the attention of an adult.

“Be Responsible On Social Media”

When you share something online, it is there for everyone to see. And can be traced back to you. It is not just fun. There are certain guidelines you should follow when posting something online and remember that there are serous consequences to saying or posting offensive material online. Cyber bullying is hurtful. Your connections online are real people with real feelings. When you put hurtful things out there remember they not just affect those reading them, but also those around them who care for them.

“Be more kind now than ever before” 

One of the main reasons of these happenings right now is because there are kids out there who do not feel loved. The world needs love. All most people need ever is to know they are cared for and appreciated. That is sorely lacking in the world today and it is more important now than ever to bring our A game forward in being generous with our kindness and filling others’ buckets.

“Always keep gratitude in your heart”

Let’s take the time to go over everything that we are thankful for today. Appreciation for what we have, helps us take stock of what all we have achieved and all those we hold dear.

“Let’s review safety precautions” 

Here I suggest reading our previously published piece on how to empower kids against tragedy. Also, ensure you ask them what they have learned at school.

Often school procedure has many simple yet effective techniques that can be applied at home or outside home/school. This also helps re iterate your belief in the school system and it’s safety. Kids, after all foremost need to believe the school is a safe haven after all.

A few side notes to the above would be

  • As always, encourage questions and keep the lines of communication open. Make time to talk about these difficult issues as well.
  • Limit Television viewing of the such tragic experiences.
  • Talk about the consequences of use of guns and violence in general.
  • Be a positive role model for the younger generation to follow.
  • Stick to your normal routine. Do not let fear seep into your life.
  • Adults, pay attention to the cues your children give you!

 

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a mom of two, living it up in Richmond Virginia in USA. Raised in Kuwait, being Indian by birth she has often felt out of place. A computer engineer by profession, she is now a freelance writer and entrepreneur having founded Raising World Children. Impromptu dance parties with her little one are her ultimate picker upper. She provides tools to open minded parents to empower their children to raise positive, gracious, global thought leaders. She currently writes for the HuffingtonPost, Thrive Global, RMB and is author in “When You Are Done Expecting ”

7 Replies to “How To Talk to Kids About Dangers At School”

  1. My 10-year old has been scared. We talked through the importance of being prepared for emergency situations and that, unfortunately, this is one of those. We explained that she has an action plan for what she and her siblings would do if an emergency happened at our home like a break-in. The same mentality and need for preparation exists if someone comes to her school that has no business being there and is intending on hurting people. I’d rather her be a little fearful than ill prepared for a situation like this. Practice and preparation will help keep her alive.

  2. Great article and excellent and sensible and thoughtful and very doable tips that parents can use with their kids. I still am so saddened that we need to have these discussions with out kids, but we cannot hide and pretend “not my school” anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *