Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.
School just started for both of my kids. One is in middle school and the other is starting high school this year. They typically adjust well and handle both the academic and social ups and downs pretty well. But this year, my husband and I are feeling a bit more nervous than usual. I guess the daily news of cyberbullying, sexting and school shootings each day makes us hope and pray that they come home safely. It terrifies me to my core! What can we do to prevent things like this from happening?
If you’re a parent or teacher, then this time of year might be one you either welcome or dread. For some, a new school year means sending the kids off during the week to grow academically and socially – it can be a positive experience for sure. For others, however, it can be a time of worry and frustration.
With this in mind, we’re extremely proud to introduce an initiative that the RPG team has put together. It was created to support schools and families addressing the needs for safer environments. It’s called the “Creating Safer Schools” program and we’re very excited to share it with you. When kids exhibit red flag behaviors or interests in and outside of school, then it’s time to take appropriate action. It’s important to find out what’s happening and if the problems could lead to harm for the child or others. Only then can we properly deal with the issue.
For Parents and TeachersIt’s important to work together to create a kinder and more compassionate school community. Click To Tweet
It’s important to work together to create a kinder and more compassionate school community. This includes making it more inclusive while recognizing signs of distress that appear in children. A few ways that we can work to create or shift towards a safer culture in schools are by:
- Learning to recognize and help kids to manage anxiety and stress.
- Being more aware of the signs of serious behavioral problems.
- Helping kids and ourselves manage emotions to cope with problems, upsetting thoughts and feelings without resorting to extreme measures.
How do we change our existing culture into a more fluid and flexible environment where people think, feel and interact with each other more? How do we put our kids in the right frame of mind where they won’t even think of violence as a viable option? Kids need to feel accepted and included in this community, not pushed out or ignored. This brings us to our next point.
When we read, see or hear of violent acts committed in schools, many people begin to wonder what caused or led up to it. The kids who commit acts of violence typically aren’t the athletes with bright futures, successful students or popular kids with lots of friends. Instead they’re the kids who are bullied, left out, struggling with depression and/or anxiety, or problems at home. Kids who are hurting can end up being at risk of becoming violent towards themselves or others.Kids who are hurting can end up being at risk of becoming violent towards themselves or others. Click To Tweet
If teachers and parents learn to better notice when a child is hurting, we’ll be one step closer to a solution and better culture. Imagine if all adults knew how to recognize the signs when something is seriously “not okay” with a child or teen. Some signs include:
- Being withdrawn
- Spending too much time alone, either at home or school
- Being bullied
- Exhibiting emotional outbursts
- A preoccupation with weapons along with social difficulties
If we can create a better environment for all kids, then the results will be a peaceful and welcoming school environment!
Let’s Make This School Year a Safe One
If you’re ready to make your school a safer place for everyone, then Rice Psychology Group is ready to help. Our “Creating Safer Schools” program can be an ideal component of your next PTSA, PTA or faculty meeting. There is no fee for this presentation. Let’s take a transformative approach together. Simply get in touch with our child psychologists in Tampa for more information.