Safety. Everyone is concerned about our children’s safety lately especially with all that has happened in the last several years in schools. But how can we ensure our children’s safety? There are practical measures to take such as warning our children never to go with strangers, but also make them aware of their environment. Teach them to take mental notes on their surroundings. Don’t frighten them, but for young children, make it into a game. Show them how to observe things carefully, noting details of what they see, but don’t make them paranoid.
Depending on your neighborhood, a good rule of thumb is not to let your child walk home alone. Pair them with friends or carpool if it’s necessary to pick them up. Don’t leave them waiting outside the school by themselves. But what about in-school safety? All schools now require teachers and administrators to have emergency procedures in place. Talk to your child’s teacher about them and reinforce them at home. Ask questions such as, where do you go in case of an emergency in your classroom? What do you do? When you visit the classroom, look for signs indicting a Safety Zone.
Ask your child if they note anyone on the playground who is either bullying other children, aggressive or withdrawn. If you feel concerned by their comments, talk with the teacher or administrator about these children. Try to resolve issues early before they mushroom, but don’t jump to conclusions too quickly either. Note if your child’s own behavior has changed because of how they are being treated in school or on the playground.
Most importantly—pray. Ask for God’s hand of protection to be on your child and on the school. Get together with other parents and pray for the school’s safety, your school district, teachers and other children. You cannot be with your child every moment of everyday, so it is important to entrust them into God’s Hands. Pray for angels to surround them and protect them. Put up a spiritual barrier of protection around your child’s classroom, school and neighborhood through prayer.
Get involved with your school. Attend meetings and get to know other parents and the neighborhood. Ask them to help keep an eye out for your child and that you will do the same for them in return. Be involved concerning safety issues and join the PTA or PTO if time permits. Talk to your child’s principal about safety issues that concern you. Know the school building and note any areas of concern.
Last and most importantly pray over your child before they go to school. Pray aloud if you feel comfortable or silently; chose what suits you and your child best. You can make up a little prayer to say each day, look for one on-line or pray spontaneously. Invite your child to pray also. Trust God that He is watching over them…and ask Him to send an extra angel or two!