Protecting Child Safety at All Levels of Society

3. Reassure children and teens who are feeling afraid

Kidpower Post-election safety tip #3: Reassure children and teens who are feeling afraid.

The most important thing is to tell them that you will do everything in your power to protect them from harm. Children do not have the years and decades of living through harsh political campaigns to sort out harsh rhetoric from political reality —for example, knowing that the President does not decree laws, but needs Congress to pass them. Don’t assume that you know how kids have interpreted what they have heard on television or elsewhere. Talk to the children in your life to find out specifically what they are worried about. You may be able to objectively put some of their fears to rest. If there are genuine safety concerns, make a plan to address them. Explain that there are many people of different, even opposing political beliefs who still believe in unity, inclusion and respect for differences. Explain that elections are won or lost for many reasons that are sometimes unfair, and give kids hope that they can stay safe and enjoy their lives no matter who is president.

About Irene van der Zande:

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Doing Right by Our Kids co-creator, Kidpower Founder and Executive Director Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. She has authored many books on personal safety including: Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe, the Kidpower Safety Comics series, the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults, and The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People. To schedule an interview with Irene, call the Kidpower Central Office, (800) 467-6997 Ext. 6#

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