2017-09-01 / Chaplain's News

Parents, remind children about school pressures, dangers

CHAPLAIN’S CORNER
BY CHAPLAIN (LT. COL.) LOU DELTUFO
Garrison Command

Summer just seems shorter now than when I was a kid.

When I was in elementary school, all I could think about was summer and the fun I would have playing with my friends. I remember having almost three full months of summer fun before I needed to worry about going back to school after Labor Day.

I’ve heard many parents refer to back-to-school as “the most wonderful time of the year,” an obvious nod to Christmas and celebrations.

Although I’m glad to see the children back to school to continue their learning, I get a little worried about them being there. The best way to keep your kids safe in school is by communicating with them about the dangers out there. Americans have always believed that schools should be safe havens for children.

Although schools are safer than many other places in our communities, children are still in danger from such things as peer pressure, violence, bullying and the Internet.

It seems so easy, but many parents have forgotten what it’s like to face the pressures children face in school. Peer pressure from other children force many “good kids” to do things they wouldn’t normally do. School violence is increasing at an alarming rate.

As parents, we need to talk with our school-aged children about violence, bullying and treating others the way we would like to be treated.

We, as parents, also need to set the example in our speech and actions because children learn the most valuable lessons from us, their parents. Most importantly, we should listen to our children and respect them. Students will be more likely to listen to and to respect others if parents listen and treat children with respect at home.

Lastly, the Internet is a great source for connecting with others, learning new information, and disseminating news. However, the internet and social media contain many sites, just a click away, that are inappropriate for young minds and encourage bad behavior.

Just as we tell our children to be wary of strangers they meet, we need to tell them to be wary of strangers on the Internet. Just as we try to be the example of respecting others at home, we need to stress to our children to respect others online and stop cyber-bullying.

I know some may say, “My child would never fall into the traps of peer pressure, violence, or Internet dangers!” Regardless of how much confidence you have in your child, you should still remind them about the dangers that are out there. Be the example and don’t rely solely on their teacher.

When you share your knowledge with your kids and live out your actions, your children will learn deeper lessons and have the knowledge to make the right decisions.

Return to top