These days, we are all too aware of the violence and tragic acts that take place in our cities and towns. Because of the frequency of crime, school shootings and acts of domestic violence that we see and hear about, we can grow desensitized - even if it is little by little. But our kids are different. These situations hit them harder. They are more susceptible to the stresses of a violent world than we are. The good news is that parents can take preventative measures that will help kids feel safer.
1. Keep your parental influence strong. One of the most powerful ways to make your kids feel safe is to simply "be there" for them by being involved in their lives. Your proactive presence provides kids with a greater sense of security than almost any other quality you can offer.
2. Make communication with your kids a priority. Good communication between parents and kids is always a great goal, but even more so during seasons of life when kids feel stressed or threatened by situations in their lives or community. An important reminder: a huge part of communication is listening. When you actively listen to your kids and they know that you accept their feelings and treat them as credible, they feel safe.
3. Develop a support system for your kids. In our world it makes sense to ensure your kids have other supporting resources -- beyond you -- like other caring adults that they can turn to in times of trouble. In creating this support system, you build a larger safety net for your kids in times of crisis.
4. Make your home a safe-haven for your kids and their friends. Make your home an inviting place where your kids and their friends enjoy hanging out. Your kids are going to hang out somewhere. Why not make your home the place where everyone feels safe?
5. Create a crisis plan. No one enjoys talking about the possibilities of "what if?" But families who have created a crisis plan that is reviewed and adjusted periodically will know what to do if the unexpected occurs. And doing so gives kids a greater sense of security.
6. Be a role model of faith. Provide a sense of safety for your kids by being a positive role model for them about what it means to be a Christ-follower in the midst of a crazy world. Show them through how you live your life that God is worthy to be trusted in all things.