Friday, July 3, 2015


Parents may think it is harmless to scare their children into compliance by saying, "I will get that policeman over there to take you to jail if you don't behave."  That is using law enforcement officers as an excuse not to deal with a child's negative behavior directly.

We need to promote the protection assured by our police and not make negative comments about them.  We should explain to our our kids that if they feel unsafe they can always seek the assistance of a police officer.

In most cases children feel they cannot tell anyone about physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse occurring within their own families or amongst friends.  For this reason
   a) Children need to be taught at home and at school what any kind of abuse looks like.
   b) Parents need to watch their kids carefully for any signs of fear or anxiety around others.
   c) Parents should believe what a child tells them and if they won't talk to their parent, make sure
       they tell someone they can trust, such as a policeman.

I always make a point of thanking police for their service when I see them standing in the mall or in the street.  It is good for our children to learn to thank them also.  This will help them realize that police are here to protect rather than to scare us.  It is amazing the look on the officers' faces when they are praised at a time when they are often under attack from sections of the community because of some misguided, rogue colleagues or some who exercised poor judgment.

By encouraging your children to thank officers, they will likely build a positive image of law enforcement rather than be afraid of it.

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families

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