A Dozen Things Parents Can Do to Stop School Violence
- Recognize that keeping firearms in your home may put you at
legal risk as well as expose you and your family to physical risk.
In many states, parents can be held liable for their children's
actions, including inappropriate use of firearms. If you do choose
to keep firearms at home, ensure that they are securely locked,
that ammunition is locked and stored separately, and that children
know weapons are never to be touched without your express permission
- Take an active role in your children's schools. Talk regularly with
teachers and staff. Volunteer in the classroom or library, or in after-school
activities. Work with parent teacher - student organizations.
- Act as role models. Settle your own conflicts peaceably and
manage anger without violence.
- Listen to and talk with your children regularly. Find out what they're
thinking on all kinds of topics. Create an opportunity for two-way conversation,
which may mean forgoing judgments or pronouncements.This kind of communication
should be a daily habit, not a reaction to crisis.
- Set clear limits on behaviors in advance. Discuss punishments
and rewards in advance, too. Disciplining with framework and consistency
helps teach self-discipline, a skill your children can use for
the rest of their lives.
- Communicate clearly on the violence issue. Explain that you don't
accept and won't tolerate violent behavior. Discuss what violence is
and is not. Answer questions thoughtfully. Listen to children's ideas
and concerns.They may bring up small problems that can easily be solved
now, problems that could become worse if allowed to fester.
- Help your children learn how to examine and find solutions to problems.
Kids who know how to approach a problem and resolve it effectively are
less likely to be angry, frustrated, or violent.Take advantage of "teachable
moments" to help your child understand and apply these and other skills.
- Discourage name-calling and teasing. These behaviors often escalate
into fistfights (or worse).Whether the teaser is violent or not, the
victim may see violence as the only way to stop it.
- Insist on knowing your children's friends, whereabouts,
and activities. It's your right. Make your home an inviting
and pleasant place for your children and their friends; it's
easier to know what they're up to when they're around.
Know how to spot signs of troubling behavior in kids — yours
- Work with other parents to develop standards for school related events,
acceptable out-of-school activities and places, and required adult supervision.
Support each other in enforcing these standards.
- Make it clear that you support school policies and rules that
help create and sustain a safe place for all students to learn.
If your child feels a rule is wrong, discuss his or her reasons
and what rule might work better.
- Join up with other parents, through school and neighborhood
associations, religious organizations, civic groups, and youth
activity groups.Talk with each other about violence problems,
concerns about youth in the community, sources of help to strengthen
and sharpen parenting skills, and similar issues.
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Crime Prevention Tips Provided by:
National Crime Prevention Council