Keeping our children safe from violence in school starts with how we treat our children at home and how we live. The society we have is the society we create by how we behave. It’s up to us to look at what we have, what we want and how we might achieve more suitable conditions.
It’s easy to throw money, if you have it, at children and buy them all the latest gadgets and amusements. What really counts with children is giving them the feeling that they are valuable to you; that they please you; that you enjoy their company; that, to you, they are people.
We hear parents moaning about how they are going to get through school holidays. What are they going to do with the children? In the past, children learnt to create their own world of entertainment, interacting with friends, siblings and their parents and adult relatives. In the process they learn how to relate to other people. The learnt when it was wise to leave somebody to deal with their own issues, when it was kind to offer support and help. Children learnt the boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour in society and they learnt skills which were necessary for their adult lives.
Nowadays many children interact with a computer and are isolated, developing some strange ideas about the human condition and their own part in it. It is difficult to know anything about other people if you only relate to a machine.
To achieve a society where treating children well is possible, adults also need support. The modern world is frightening in it’s complexity and sense of threat. Are we really about to be annihilated by terrorists or can we assume that what passes for normal life will carry on. Anxiety about being able to earn enough money to live, to pay the bills, to cover health costs is a continual issue for parents. Pressure to be fashionable is something we can do without.
How we live, our expectations, aspirations and beliefs all affect our lives. Perhaps now is the time to consider if there are small changes we can make in our own lifestyles which will ensure our children are not isolated emotionally. Nearly all the children who have committed violence on a large scale in schools have been isolated children who have developed some strange ideas. When we are not sure how to do this, it is possible to talk to others about how they manage and distil from what you hear, what you think is sensible to do.
It is not a sign of weakness to re-evaluate how we live and to look at what might be done. It is an empowering action of doing things for ourselves which will improve our lot. If we want changes or improvements it is up to us to make them.