Hi, it’s Jasmyne with Relate Family Therapy in Centennial, Colorado. This week our community was part of an active shooting in a school. The school’s ages ranged from kindergarteners to 12th graders, and it was right down the street from our location. Unfortunately, these shootings have become such a big part of our culture. We don’t even know where shootings are from day-to-day because there have been so many. When parents come in they are often affected as shootings are close to home, but they don’t know what to do and where to start. The idea of guns, what to do with mental health issues, how do we help our teachers all come up. I say: start at home. Working with your kids and being connected to them is a huge part of how we keep kids safe. If all parents would check in, get to know their children’s friends, be active in their school, and help them feel like they’re not isolated, kids are less likely to act out and have negative behaviors. If parents see their children are struggling – they have mental health issues that come up for them, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other problems that have come up over and over again – don’t turn a blind eye to it. Talk to a professional and get help outside of yourself. Being able to say that you helped your child could save other children’s lives. I know it sounds simple, but it is a huge part of what we can do to make a change. Be connected. Stay active in your child’s school. And let your children know that you’re there for them. You know their friends. You know their classes. You know their teachers. You understand their routines. And you will know if something is off. That is the first step to keeping all of our children safe.
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