It is time to go back to school. Children cringe and parents let out sighs of relief. With the return of a “normal” schedule also comes an increase in our child’s participation in extra-curricular activities; both as part of school and outside of school. Start off the school year on the right foot by meeting your child’s teacher and defining your expectations of communication both to and from the teacher. It is also a good time to meet all the adults that will be interacting with your child through extra-curricular activities. If your child is playing football or cheer leading or even on the debate team, it is important that you meet all of the adults that are going to be interacting with your child.
It is also a good time to set up rules for sleepovers and social activities as well so that your child knows what the expectations will be. You should always know the people your child will be spending time. It does not matter if they are a child or an adult. Ask questions of those adults that are in charge. If it is an organized activity, ask about what kinds of supervision will be given to the participants.
Inquire about who will be allowed to be alone one on one with your child. Ask to review their policies regarding interaction between those in charge and the participants. If it is a play date, ask who else will be in the home or attending the play date. If the play date will take place in the home, ask where medications are kept, if there are guns in the house ask where they are kept and if they are locked away out of the reach of the children.
By asking these questions and knowing the people who will be interacting with your child you are letting everyone know that you are involved in your child’s life and you are also letting them know that you will be watching for signs that indicate when something is not right. You are reducing the risk for your child to be abused!