As the country mourns another tragic school shooting, parents, especially those of teenagers, are coming to grips with how to monitor the behavior of their children and identify warning signs in order to prevent another mass shooting.
Here are four ways to monitor warning signs in your teenage children.
Be Aware Of Social Media Use
Whether you follow them on all platforms or have all of their passwords, your teen's online presence is a very important indicator of their current frame of mine and can offer clues of any future actions.
Open A Dialog With Their Teachers
In our busy schedules, many parents only find themselves checking in with teachers during the usual conference times when report cards are issued. Teachers are a valuable resource in letting you know the behavior of your teen. Engage them!
Get To Know The Parents of Their Friends
Does your teen hang out with a specific group of friends? Introduce yourself to their parents. Know their household rules and let them know what yours are, too. Make it a point to inform them that you care as much about the safety of their teen as you do yours.
Sit Down And Talk (But Also Listen)
When shootings like this happen, talk to your teens about them. Make the time to talk, whether it's at the dinner table or in the car on the way to an after-school activity. Depending on their age, you may need approach the subject differently. When they have questions, give an age-appropriate answer. Most importantly, listen to what they have to say, note their reactions and ensure them that you will always be someone they can come to for help.
Erica Banas is a step-mother to a 13-year-old boy. She is a Digital Content Manager as Beasley Media Group.