For many families conversation around the breakfast table this past Sunday took a much different twist than usual when the TV was turned on or when Dad looked at breaking news on his phone. 50 people dead, 53 others injured. How do we even talk about these types of events with our kids and loved ones?
- While evil things like this do happen the fact is we live in very safe times here in North America. Statistically most of us will NEVER be exposed to something like this in our lifetime. That is some of the reason why when these types of things do happen here in the U.S. it is so shocking and shakes us to the core...it is because it is so unusual. We should be thankful for how safe our communities generally are.
- We don't need to be afraid...we just need to be alert and aware of what is happening around us. It is all about practical situational awareness. No need to dig a bunker or go out and buy a gun. But we do need to change our attitudes about living in virtual world vs. living in our real world. We have given ourselves permission to unplug from the real world and that is a problem. We have taught, modeled and encouraged our children to do the same. We need to change course and help our kids plug back into the real world so when bad stuff does happen we can react and increase our chances of being safe.
- It's not just about mass homicides and active killers. Situational Awareness is a life skill that applies to virtually every potential hazard that might harm us. Talk to your kids about situational awareness and finding a healthy balance between awareness and paranoia.
Finally, watch your kids and make sure they aren't processing these types of disasters inappropriately. Look for changes in mood, activities and what scares them.
While events like Orlando are a tragedy it is important that we not only honor and grieve those lost but we also makes sure to learn from them.
This is John Baker for safetysolutions4schools.com. We would love to hear from you. call or email. Until next time.