Every day it's nearly impossible to open a newspaper or turn on the television and not be confronted by the harsh reality of violence invading the lives of our children-guns in school, kids as murder suspects, or just bullies on the playground. Sometimes the easiest response to all this bad news is to think that violence happens to other people's children, not ours. Until it happens to our child-sadly, a very real possibility. How can we make them safer at school, on the playing field and in the playground? Below are some tips from the parents of Parent Soup on how they have dealt with this most important of topics. We also invite you to come online to visit Parent Soup (www.parentsoup.com or AOL Keyword: Parent Soup) and share your stories about how to fight the violence, so can hear about ways to make a difference, not just more horror stories about the violence itself. Because we know that this isn't just a news story; this is our children's childhood we're talking about.
"What can we do to minimize the risk of violence toward our kids? Get involved in their lives -- in their schools, in their outside activities, with their friends (know who they are and who their parents are), in every area. I have worked with teenagers for more than 10 years, and the biggest complaint I hear from them is that their parents don't care -- don't know where they are, how they are doing in school, or even know their favorite color. Take it one more step and get involved in your neighborhood. Know what's going on and do something about it if you don't like what's going on. It is your business if the kid next door is being abused. He or she may not have anyone else to help. If more of us get involved, then we won't have to worry as much about violence running rampant in the community."
~ Parent Soup member TECHA5
Open the Lines of Communication
"The best defense we have as parents is openness and honesty with our children to make them aware of the world's dangers. We must talk with our children and listen carefully to what they are telling us, investigate, and take action as need be to help protect them. There will always be something that we could not control or predict but hopefully our teachings of the violence that is out there and how they should react to it will keep them alive and safe."
~ Parent Soup member Zookrew1