School Violence is a complex but paramount problem that society faces today. According to a study by CDC 7.8% of asked students reported being in a physical fight at school and 5.6% reported that they missed school because they felt unsafe. The causes can not be singled out to a select few sources. Parents often stress about what they can do to prevent their children from experiencing harm. Though some sources of this epidemic are outside of their control, there are many ways they can address and even prevent it.
Fostering open lines of communication with your children and teens is a critical step in becoming involved in their education, friends, and interests.
Use phrases like “tell me more” and “what do you think?” Phrases like this inform your children that you are actively listening and actually care about their beliefs, ideas, and worldview.
Begin difficult or uncomfortable discussions with your children about violence, smoking, drugs, sex, drinking, and mortality. You shouldn’t wait for your children or teenagers to confront you first about such topics since they may never at all due to the anxiety such topics bring.
It is no secret that kids are using social media, though it may not be as well-known the issues can come from it. According to DoSomething,
It is paramount for any parent to monitor how social media may be affecting their child, though it also may not be the best to stalk a kid’s use of social media. Constant communication that is supportive and genuine may be the best approach.
Being able to recognize when a child’s behavior is starting to change is a crucial part of preventing violence in the classroom. The behavior does not have to be radical, it can be very subtle. These sudden or gradual changes aren’t always an indicator of potential violence, but communicating when such a change occurs can have long-lasting impacts. Seeing someone recognizes such changes can have beneficial impacts on the mental and emotional health of the child
Some of these changes can include declining grades, withdrawal from friends and activities that they enjoyed such as sports, trouble sleeping, noticeable dietary changes such as lack of eating, and distancing themselves from questions. Though the changes are not limited to the list prior. It’s important to learn about emotional and mental health, along with disorders that can cause such changes as depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, etc. You can learn more about common mental disorders here. It’s important to see a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist rather than self-diagnosing.
Setting well-defined rules and boundaries for children is setting them up for success. Make sure they understand what is expected of them and the consequences if they don’t meet such expectations. Though at the same time, you must make sure such rules and expectations are fair. When establishing family boundaries, ensure that children understand the purpose of the rules and that you are consistent in enforcing them.
Discipline is more successful when children are involved in the creation of the rules and, in many cases, in determining the consequences. Remember to be fair and flexible as your children become older. Show your children how to follow rules and regulations, be responsible, have empathy for others, control anger, and manage stress through your actions. Be the role model for your children.
When their children display potentially dangerous conduct or mindsets, ones that could lead to harm to themselves or their classmates, parents must step in and intervene. They do not have to deal with these challenges alone; the most successful methods involve parents, school, and mental health experts working together to provide continuous monitoring and support.
Showing your children that you truly believe in their education is important and one of the ways you can do this is by being involved in their education. Show initiative by getting to know your child’s teachers and helping them get to know you and your child. Communicate with your child’s teachers throughout the school year, not just when problems arise. By getting to know more about your family, their teachers will be better prepared to identify when behavior changes or red flags occur.
Keep up with school events, class projects, and homework assignments. Participate in all parent orientation programs as well as parent-teacher conferences. Volunteer at school functions and become a member of your local PTA. Assist your children in finding a balance between schooling and extracurricular activities. Parents must also support school policies and objectives. Any of these are important, but make sure to find a way to healthily stay involved in their journey through their education.
All parents, students, school personnel, and members of the community must work together to make our schools safe for our children. One of the ways this group effort can accomplish such a feat is by creating a joint violence prevention strategy. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, a community-wide violence prevention strategy can reduce crime by up to 30 percent. Many PTAs and other school-based organizations are striving to identify the problems and causes of school violence, as well as potential solutions for violence prevention.
When school communities come up with such strategies, the crisis management teams, become more prepared to recognize and prevent potential problems, as well as know what to do when a crisis occurs.
The most effective violence prevention and response plans are developed in cooperation with school and health officials, parents, and community members. These plans include descriptions of school safety policies, early warning signs, intervention strategies, emergency response plans, and post-crisis procedures.