When Your Child’s Safety Is Out of Your Control {Preparing Your Child and Yourself}

As a mom, one of the biggest concerns we have with our children is safety. We research car seats and chose one with the best safety ratings; we childproof our homes and read every safety label to make sure we are protecting our children at all times. We try our best to teach our kids the differences between right and wrong and to look both ways when crossing the street…

But what will they do when something out of your control happens?

A situation at my oldest son’s school came up recently where a child brought a gun to school. While sadly this is something we have seen in the media more often that we would like, I didn’t realize it would happen at my son’s school. Not in a school with young children, right? Unfortunately, it DID happen, and I wasn’t prepared on how to handle it.

back-to-school-183533_1280I didn’t want him to be afraid to go to school, but I knew I had to address the situation. Where to begin? I was just flooded with emotions of fear and anger. A 6 year old child shouldn’t have to know the scary reality of guns in school, but yet here we are. He should feel safe at school and not be afraid.

I was anxious having to talk to my son about it in fear of making him worried or scared to return to school.

What I went over with him was that it was OK for him to be scared and to ask his dad and I multiple questions about it. I didn’t want this to be a situation that was swept under the rug but more of an open and ongoing discussion. If he is upset or scared at school regarding safety, I want him to feel that he could come to us so we could address it.

I also looked up the safety procedures at his school and went over it with him. By him knowing the reasons behind these procedures, it will make him feel safer and more in control if an occasion arises again. It will also give him more reasons to follow rules and regulations.

As a family, we went over our own safety plan.

We went over our telephone numbers and how to reach us if an emergency would occur. It’s never a bad idea to have a safety plan. We also decided on a safety word to use in a crisis situation.

What I’ve truly learned through all of this is that as much as you want to be in complete control of your children, you aren’t. It’s made me put a lot of faith out there in the universe. I feel a bit more confident now that my son knows these procedures and what to do in crisis situations, but I wish I could have kept him in a small bubble forever.

Does your family have a safety plan? Are you prepared to handle a safety situation that is out of your control?

Mary Olivio
Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.


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