Talking to Your Kids About
is becoming a fact of life for many teenagers. Even in
neighborhoods where violence is low, teens should know
how to respond to dangerous and potentially violent
situations. Talk with your teenagers about safe street
behavior, focusing on the following common sense
Safety At Home
At home, encourage your children to keep doors and windows locked and to check to see whos there before opening the door. Set a good example by doing this yourself. Encourage your teenagers to dial 911 or your local emergency number if they feel theyre in danger.
Listen to Your Children
Let your teenagers know that they can talk to you about any fears they have. If your child is being seriously bullied or threatened at school, talk to school authorities about it. Although many teens worry that "telling" on a bully will make things worse, bullies are more likely to back off if they know you will stand up for your childs safety.
A Violence-Free Attitude
Your attitude toward violence can affect the way your child responds to potentially violent situations. Do you believe that boys who do not fight are sissies? That its important to win at all costs? That nice guys finish last? Or do you let your children know that its OK to walk away from a fight, and back your words with your own actions?
Is your home a violence-free zone, where family problems are solved without using violence or threats? Do you help your child to learn nonviolent ways to deal with frustration, anger and conflict?
Teenagers who learn to handle conflict without using violence are much less likely to become victims of schoolyard or street violence.