#IndiaSchoolHorrors: Questions I asked my children this morning
Reports of children being molested and killed in schools has left us all shocked. Here are few points I am repeating with my children every morning, to keep them prepared for danger
Enough is enough. For a long time now we have seen news reports about accidental child deaths at the hands of people we entrust the safety of our children to.
It could be a child-carer at home, a friend, neighbour, relative, or even something that goes wrong in the school. Of late, the horrific and heart-wrenching reports of children being molested, bullied and eventually being killed in schools has not just left the nation shocked, it has also brought a deep sense of insecurity and mistrust in the mind of parents.
That includes me. And maybe you too have already started having questions about whether or not your child’s school is really the safest place for your little one to be in, when they are not at home with you.
Just like most parents are doing it naturally in these unsafe times, I have also taught my children about the good and bad touch concept, and have spoken to them over and over again about the many danger signs they should watch out for. I have a 4-year-old and a 10-year-old, and I speak to them individually, in ways that are age-appropriate.
But I realized, just doing this is not being enough. Maybe I need to be more regular with this conversation? Maybe I need to keep asking them what’s going on and keep reminding them strongly, every single day, what they should do the moment they are uncomfortable.
So today morning, I made sure to have 10 extra minutes after they were both ready, and sat down with them to talk.
- Who is there in the washroom when you go to the toilet?
- Is the helping aunty sitting outside or inside the washroom?
- Do you use the toilet on your own or someone helps you?
- If you need any help, who do you call?
- Is some helping aunty always there outside the washroom?
- Is there only aunty or any uncle too outside?
- Have you ever seen the helping aunties clean the toilet when you are there?
- Do they go out of the washroom when you go, or do they wait there?
- Who cleans, only aunties or uncles too?
- What do you do when you go to the washroom but find someone cleaning it?
- If there is any helping uncle inside, DO NOT ENTER. Go to a teacher nearby, ask them to ask the person to come out because you need to use the washroom.
- If you feel you are not happy about something and someone is trying to touch you, or coming close to you, try shouting as loudly as you can. Just scream HELP HELP.
- Try to run to the reception area as you keep shouting.
- There will be some parents near the reception area always. Start saying what happened.
- Take the reception phone and dial parent’s number immediately. Unless you are comfortable, DO NOT go back to class.
Till date, I am very happy with the safety and care my children have at school, but that does not mean I will sit quiet and wait for something to go wrong. Call me too paranoid, but yes, I guess now I am.
I would rather repeat these points every morning with my children so that in case of any problem, they immediately know what to do.
What about you parents? Are you also as scared or worried? How are you keeping your children ready to tackle danger? Please do share your suggestions and tips in the comments for us all.
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