It’s the rare parent who has never worried about his student encountering violence at school.
You can’t protect your teen from everything. But you can do much to help:
• Know your teen’s friends. In general, don’t get in the middle of her friendships. But step in if the friend is known for drugs or violence or has ever helped your teen get into serious trouble.
• Get involved. Many school-parent groups have committees dedicated to reducing violence. Some parents volunteer to mediate conflicts between students. Make it clear to students, including your own, that their safety is your first concern.
• Know your teen’s attitude. All teens are moody at times. But a sudden, marked change in behavior can mean your teen is feeling pressured or scared.
• Encourage your teen to keep busy. Teens involved in sports and clubs are less likely to join gangs, skip school or do drugs.
• Rehearse for tough situations. Suggest possible responses to invitations he would be better off declining. “No, thanks.” “I’m too busy.” Sometimes he may need to be tougher. “I said no, thanks. Leave me alone.”
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