Like you, we’re parents. We’re parents who are heartbroken and terrified over recent events. We’re parents who want to protect our children from the fear they are rightfully and so viscerally feeling. As our children grow and take on the world, eventually without us, how can we make them feel protected in a world that is sometimes scary? We thought it would be helpful to share what some of our team members are doing to make their little ones feel safe.
Keep Communication Open
As parents, it can be hard to be honest with our kids as we don’t want to scare them about the realities of the world--but let’s face it, it’s a scary time to be a kid. The first step to making our children feel safe is having an honest conversation where they can be vulnerable about their fears and ask any questions. By giving them a safe space to be open, you also help them feel comfortable communicating with teachers, counselors, and other trustworthy adults. Reminding our children we are here to listen and help can be crucial for situations where their voice can make a difference. We recommend the NSAP as a great resource for talking to your kids about difficult subjects.
Review Safety Procedures & Get Involved
Understanding the current safety protocols at our children’s schools is a huge factor in making them feel prepared and safe in the event something happens. The National PTA has a great list of the top safety questions to ask your school. Is there an appointed safety team and if so, who is on it? What is the exit strategy or protocol if a threat is on campus? In light of recent events, many school boards like the Los Angeles Unified School District, are performing access assessments to reduce points of entry to the schools and giving first responders GPS equipment to swiftly respond to any emergencies.
Our children’s safety is every parent’s #1 concern, so if your school is lacking a safety protocol or you feel a program should be added, know your voice matters and you can make a difference! Still feeling lost? Email us at email@example.com and we’d be happy to help you draft up a response.
Let Your Child Know It’s OK To Break The Rules (Sometimes)
We want our children to follow the rules, especially at school and know there are consequences for breaking those rules. However, we also want our kids to know that trusting their gut is incredibly important. Things like breaking a window to get out of a building if the doors won’t open, using their phone during class if they feel something is off, or disobeying an adult if their intuition kicks in, are rules that are necessary to break during the right scenarios. No matter how big or small, reminding our kids that breaking the rules can be a good thing when danger is involved, is important in giving our kids the confidence to stay safe.
Have A Plan
Our worst nightmare is that something bad will happen to our kids. While we hope they’ll never have to experience any traumatic event, our children are quick learners, and giving them simple instructions can make all the difference. Here are some easy-to-remember actions that can apply to a variety of dangerous situations:
- Memorize A Phone Number: Make sure your child knows your phone number and address by heart in case they need to inform a teacher or emergency responder.
- Yell “NO!”: If your child is scared or feeling uncomfortable in any way, tell them to loudly shout, “No!”
- Run & Hide: If it’s possible to get away from danger safely, go to a safe space, stay quiet, and stay out of sight until it is safe.
- Have A Password: Create a family password that only you know so if someone ever asks your child to go with them or there’s an emergency, they can ask for that password to know they are trustworthy.
Unfortunately, as much as we know we’d like to, we cannot protect our children from everything in the world--but we can give them the tools to feel safe and prepared in the very unlikely event something does happen. The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement has created a great resource on how children’s questions and fears differ from adults.
As parents, we want our TickTalk families to feel safe. If you have any features you’d like to see in TickTalk, email firstname.lastname@example.org and any features we can feasibly add, we'll include free of charge to all TickTalk users.