In light of the recent tragic shooting at ROCORI High School I feel compelled to act in some manner. An added tragedy would be if nothing good comes of the loss of these three young men's lives. What can we do as parents to help prevent such a tragedy in our own home town? Are we powerless? Let's hope not.
First is the obvious... loving our children, paying attention to their lives, and watching for signs of depression or other behavior changes and then seeking professional help. In addition, rather than trying to be our children's best friends, assume control in our appropriate role, as parents. I would suggest:
Eliminate access to all violent or immoral video games. Burn them... now!
Limit access to violent and sexually explicit TV shows, Internet sites, and movies as much as possible.
Keep your guns and ammunition locked up.
Talk to your children about and do not tolerate, the teasing of another child based on their appearance, clothes, disability, etc. Model the correct behavior yourself. Look for the "good" in others and be the person you want your child to grow up to be.
Support your school in matters of discipline when it is warranted, and let school officials know you will not tolerate bullying and teasing of your child if he/she is on the receiving end.
Establish, stick to, and follow through on consequences for inappropriate behavior. It is better for your child to learn societal boundaries early by limiting access to a computer, TV, the family car or social activities than face a prison term or death at a later age when the consequences get "real".
Let's pray we never face this tragedy in our school, but let's not leave everything up to chance, either.
(Karl Samp is a resident of Unorganized Territory.)
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