Labor Day has passed and all the children have returned to school. Recently, I requested input from friends who are parents on a social media site to comment on what are their concerns are for back to school safety. I was rather shocked that after a week and a half and one repost no one had commented regarding safety concerns for their children. I wanted to capture real concerns from current parents instead of reciting statistics. We all share or have friends how proudly share their children’s accomplishments on social media. This is wonderful! It is great so see so many proud parents hence my surprise when no one commented regarding their children’s safety while traveling to and from school or while at school. For the sake of this blog and without actual concerns from local parents, I will have to rely on National statistics for back to school safety.
Bullying is a popular subject these days. And over the past few years I’ve heard friends mention their child or children are being bullied. This is a topic that has come about due to societal changes. According to www.stopbullying.gov the following is the definition of bullying:
“Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”
This definition seems no different than what went on during my school-aged years and there was no talk about stopping bullying. The children worked it out, the parents worked it out with the children or your Mom or Dad told you to suck it up and get back to school. What has changed? Are children these days being coddled? Or, is it the recent school shootings over the past several years that have brought bullying to the forefront? I can understand the latter. When I was in school, no one worried that a child was going to bring a gun to school and shoot all of their classmates. Other than that, the definition of bullying is no different than what went on in every school across America fifteen or more years ago. The same website offers ways to help kids deal with bullying and ironically it is very similar to how it was handled years ago; tell someone, standup for a friend and keep lines of communication open with your children.
I can complete this blog by reciting statistics for school bus accidents and suggesting that you teach your children to be aware of their surroundings and to be careful crossing streets. But as I review statistics on general back to school safety and recent attention to the issue of bullying; prevention and resolution to your child's well-being is the same regardless of the safety issue at hand; is to communicate WITH your children. I emphasize "with" because it is a two-way street. Ensure your children that it is safe for them to communicate with you in order to open the flow of communication. They experience the problems first-hand, they encounter what they see as safety threats, they hold the key to what is going on in and around their school.
A rapidly maturing, growing and expanding mind can easily become unsure how to communicate their experiences or perceived threats Children and young adults are often afraid to communicate any safety concerns therefore, prevention and resolutions lie with their parents to keep the flow of communication unobstructed.
Etler-Kettenacker Agency wishes everyone a happy, safe and productive school year! Feel free to contact EK Agency if you have any concerns regarding any insurance needs or questions.