5 Scary things your child may encounter at school

5 Scary things your child may encounter at school

Did you know that whether it’s about sex or cigarettes or simple bullying, peer pressure happens at every stage of our lives

When you’re away from your children, you fail to see the many things that they experience—particularly in school. If it were up to us, we want school to be a safe haven for our kids, but most often than not it isn’t the case.

In a Family Share story, Karen Banes lists down the five scary things that your child deals with at school.

Isolation

In a world that shuns individuality and encourages normalcy, our children will not always be able to blend in with a certain group or another, thus leading him to be in isolation from the rest of his peers.

How to help:

According to Karen, parents should give their children advice on how to cope with feeling alone, as well as how to reach out to others and make friends.

“Encourage activities that will enable him to make more friends at school or cement friendships,” she says. “Make your home an ‘open house’ so he can bring friends around and build relationships out of school.”

Violence

The influence of violence in video games and popular culture encourages young people to emulate the things they see, and as a result they carry this behavior to school. Even if a child isn’t the one on the receiving end of school violence, simply witnessing it can cause him to be more withdrawn and participate less out of fear.

How to help:

Parents should be able to keep communication with their children open, and should also be able to ask whether fights break out in school. “If you have the time, volunteering in your child's school is a great way to get a feel for the school culture,” Karen suggests. “It can also help you develop a relationship with the teachers that will help you address any issues.”

Peer pressure

Whether it’s about sex or cigarettes or simple bullying, peer pressure happens at every stage of our lives. It may start out as harmless, but it has the potential to lead to something dangerous which can have lasting impact on children’s lives.

How to help:

“Help your children develop a strong moral compass and an ability to be themselves and keep their own counsel,” says Karen. “Be aware that out-of-character behavior is often due to peer pressure and keep that in mind when trying to get to the bottom of it.”

Blackmail

The mix of sex culture and technology is dangerous, but that is the harsh reality in which we now live. Many children now are taking provocative photos of themselves and sending it to their peers. Such images can be used for blackmail material, and you might think that this is the stuff of fiction, but it’s happening more often in real life.

How to help:

Karen says: “A lot of blackmail is of the 'I'll tell your parents' variety. Make sure your child knows that whatever happens, she can tell you and she really should. It will come out in the end, anyway. Yes, you may be upset, angry, or disappointed. Yes, there may be consequences, but you will still love her and you will fix it together.”

Angry teachers

Teachers should the source of support, guidance and encouragement to the their students. Sadly, not all teachers have their students' best interest at heart. Every one of us has a memory of a teacher we did not particularly like or care about because they weren’t the best role models out there. Children today are experiencing this too.

How to help:

“Keep tabs on your child's attitude toward her teachers. Who does she like? Who seems to make her nervous? Offer support and be prepared to approach the school if there seems to be a real problem.”

READ: The many forms of hazards and how to recognise them

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