As you’re out Back to School shopping with your kids for their new backpacks and outfits, you need to set aside some time to talk to your kids about what it means to be safe.
Children experience a plethora of changes as they age into school and progress through elementary, middle and high school. Each stage of development brings new challenges and adventures. Being there to help can sometimes be difficult and bring a different set of challenges for parents. There are resources to turn to that provide insight about child development and how to help kids navigate life’s ups and downs.
We have a variety of publications that provide insights for parenting school age children as well as teenagers, and these are not the only available resources. Families face difficult situations, such as when parents are separating or when a parent is incarcerated or facing addition. During these tough times parents and caretakers may benefit from professional insight, which is why PFSA has made tips available at www.pa-fsa.org for addressing a variety of situations.
As the first day of school quickly approaches, it is important to speak with kids about their safety. Below are some suggestions for educating children about how to stay out of harm’s way.
- Tell children it is not ok for anyone to hurt them or make them feel uncomfortable, and they should tell you if that happens.
- Teach children that adults should never ask them to keep secrets.
- Educate children on the correct terms for their body parts. This will allow your younger children to more clearly verbalize abuse if it occurs.
- Talk with older children and teens about online safety and the risks of sexting.
- Practice age appropriate “what if” scenarios to help children think through how they would handle situations where an adult makes them feel uncomfortable.
As a parent, you should feel empowered to talk to your children about how they can take steps to stay safe! We hope you and your kids have a happy, healthy, and safe school year!