HOW TO APPROACH THE SUBJECT OF GUNS WITH CHILDREN
Children need to know about weapons, no matter their views on gun ownership or whether or not they have a gun in their home. When children are naturally curious about guns, their lack of knowledge could be lethal.
Every day in the United States, an average of 19 children are killed or injured by gunshots. Gun-related deaths among children aged 1 to 17 are the second most common cause of death.
One-third of Americans are expected to own a firearm. As a result, there’s a good chance that a friend, relative, or neighbor has a gun in their home that’s lying around unsecured.
Any child can explore in someone else’s house, regardless of how well-trained you think your child is at identifying danger or whether you think she would ever do so. It doesn’t matter if you keep your guns in a secure location or if hunting and target practice are a part of your family’s tradition.
Constant communication with your children about weapons is the best defense against firearm-related incidents. It’s essential to have regular discussions with your children about guns to remove the mystery and help them better understand them and how to protect themselves.
Children in Primary and Elementary Schools
Sadly, many parents place their faith in their children’s ability to keep guns out of their hands after being taught about gun safety. Numerous studies have shown, however, that even when children have been instructed repeatedly not to touch a gun, they are likely to do so if the opportunity arises. As a result, the consequences can be lethal.
For this reason, parents must chat to the adults in their homes to find out if there are firearms in the residences they’re visiting, even if their children are in preschool or primary school.
Your child’s safety is at stake, so don’t be afraid to ask about guns in the house—it may feel unpleasant, but it’s all in the cause of your peace of mind. Another adult will probably appreciate it if you bring up such an important topic.
Say something like, “Before I let my children loose in your house, I simply want to make sure there aren’t any things they can get into. “Do you own any firearms?” Your child should not have any access to any firearms if you allow them to have them.
Encouraging Gun Safety in Your Child
However, this should not be your exclusive method of defense. Research has shown that children as young as 12 have difficulty distinguishing between actual and play weapons, especially for boys. If your child comes across a firearm, it’s always a good idea to teach them what to do.
The first step is to show him a variety of guns so that he can identify each one. Make it clear to him that even if it is simply a toy, he should quickly leave the area and seek help from an adult if he ever comes across one.
Test their understanding of the concept. What would you do if your friend’s house had a gun on the table? When they get it right, shower them with compliments.
Expand the dialogue when your youngster gets older. In TV shows and video games, people aren’t regenerated and can’t get back up after being shot; therefore, it’s important to point out the differences between the two mediums’ use of guns.
Tweens and Middle Schoolers.
Middle schoolers are more than likely to have heard about gun violence in the news, whether it happened across the country or in their neighborhood. Keep the conversation about how dangerous weapons can be by using the news as a springboard.
If he finds a gun in someone else’s house, emphasize the significance of not touching firearms. Your child may think he’s an expert at handling guns, but he’s not. Tell him that picking up a firearm might be dangerous.
Additionally, your child may encounter a friend eager to brag about the firearms they keep in their residence. Think of ways your tween can escape the situation without raising a fuss before confronting your pals.
Suggestion: Have them say something like, “This is tedious. Rather than linger, let’s go on. “Maybe later,” if a friend offers to show them a gun, is an appropriate response. “Let’s go outside and do something.”
You shouldn’t expect your youngster to go about lecturing their peers about gun safety. All they have to do is get out of there.
If you allow your child to hunt or own a BB gun, be sure that you are actively involved in teaching them the fundamentals of firearms safety. And make it plain that he can’t use them unless you’re present to supervise him.
Students in their teens
The use of firearms by teenagers to intimidate others is more common in some parts of the country than in others. When it comes to teaching your teen about gun safety, it doesn’t matter where you live or how people view guns in your town.
Even if your kid knows how to use a gun safely, a split-second choice is all that is needed for an injury to occur. Even if you believe your adolescent would never have access to your firearms, you should nonetheless lock them up.
Bringing up the subject of weapons with your adolescent can be tricky. Using questions like, “Do kids at school talk about guns?” is an excellent approach to beginning a difficult subject. or “Have any of your pals ever taken a pistol around with them?”
Bringing up gun violence in schools is also crucial. A teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator should be informed immediately if another kid has brought a pistol to school.
It’s important noting that if another student suggests or threatens to bring a gun to school, they can always report it to an adult. Remind your teenager of this could save lives and prevent a fatal tragedy.
You should also discuss your teen’s safety concerns. Ask whether they’re concerned that someone might bring a gun to a party or bring a gun to school. The more you talk to your teen about their worries and help them devise a strategy to keep them safe, the more you can allay their anxiety.
Guns and Regulations: Considerations to Keep in Mind
Regardless of your personal views on firearms, the following issues deserve your attention:
If you have a gun, store it in a safe place. If you merely tuck it away in a “hidden” location, your youngster will ultimately discover it. Nevertheless, keep the gun cabinet’s keys hidden and never handle or clean a gun alone.
You get to decide whether or not your child can have a toy gun. If you don’t buy toy guns, be aware that your child may pretend that crayons, twigs, or a piece of celery are weapons. As a result, think about how you want to respond to pretend gun play before you buy any toys with firearms. Rules like “No pretending to shoot people” could be imposed.
Many video games and movies depict gun violence in a positive light. It’s also important to keep an eye on what your youngster sees. Limit your child’s exposure to violent media by keeping a close eye on what they watch.
Talking about guns and violence can be difficult regardless of your child’s age. Protecting one’s children from the outside world is a common goal of all parents and guardians. That’s exactly what you’re doing—protecting your child—by keeping the conversation open regarding guns.