Explaining School Lockdown to Your Kids

file9021268338436Growing up, there were fire drills and earthquake drills… and now our kids “get” to experience lockdown drills… sigh. So how do you explain why they need to practice being locked down? Breezy Mama joined Clinical Psychologist Dr. Rachel Goldenhar and Family Medicine Specialist Dr. Melinda Silva on Fox 5 San Diego to discuss this topic. Here are 3 tips for explaining lockdown to your kids…

1. Be honest…
Like it or not, your kids are talking with other kids and hearing all sorts of stories you likely prefer they didn’t. Find out your school’s lockdown policy and explain to your kids what to expect… and just like fire drills and earthquake drills, it’s likely you won’t ever have to be in lockdown, but it’s always good to practice.

2. Prepare but don’t scare…
If you make a lockdown drill sound scary, it will make a real lockdown drill all the more scary! If you prepare them to know that they will likely be practicing lockdown, explain that it’s a way for schools to keep kids safe. As Dr. Goldenhar points out, “Kids are comforted to know that adults are keeping them safe.”

3. Explain that it’s not always an emergency…
Lockdown procedures are truly a way to keep kids safe, but aren’t always an emergency situation. For example, if a pipe were to burst and was spraying water, kids would need to be put in a safe location. Knowing that adults have kids’ safety in mind at all times can also help keep the kids calm.

Watch our discussion on explaining lockdown to kids – PLUS! – whether to send your child to pre-Kindergarten or another year of preschool here:

(If the video isn’t display, click here to watch!)

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