Thursday, June 27, 2013

Safety Measures: Policemen (Civil Servants) Are Our Friends

We are continuing our series on Child safety measures. On Tuesday, we discussed 911 and the information our children need to know, yesterday I posted on the Facebook page a link to an "old"  post I wrote on "weeding" out things in our children's lives that can actually cause problems for us and them down the road, and today we will be talking about civil servants.

Read Romans 13:1-7. 

Sadly, we live in a time when the lawman is not viewed with the respect that he once was. He is given degrading nicknames and treated with disdain rather than the honor and respect that his badge has earned him. We are irritated with that officer that pulls us over for speeding or running a red light, and then we expect our children to view these men and women as a safety zone when they find themselves in trouble.

Concerning our civil servants, the Bible says, "For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation." Romans 13:3 AMP.

There are several things we need to teach our children concerning our civil servants for their own safety.

1. They need to know that those in uniform are safe. We need to teach our children that our civil servants, especially policemen, are here to protect those of us who follow the law and to catch and protect us from those who don't. We need to speak repectfully of and to these men and women because our attitudes transfer to our children. 

2. Become familiar with them as a family. Our church has police officers that patrol our grounds during services. They do not just stay in the squad car but walk in and out of the buildings. When we happen to see one of them walking by, I try to make a point of introducing the kids. I then explain to them infront of the officer that if they ever have to call 911, he/she will come help them (not speaking of the particular officer but the uniform). The officer tends to smile, agree, and remind the kids (Addie) how to dial 911.  We have been to restaurants while an officer is having lunch. We approach their table, I thank them for their service to our community, and many times they engage in conversation with me and Addie.

During the summer our local police department hosts a safety camp for a full week for children 6-12. It is a great way for children to become familiar on a very friendly level with these civil servants. 

3. Show your child that civil servants are real people. Because of my work in the classroom before becoming a mom and my volunteering at church, I have had the opportunity to meet many officers and fire fighters through their children. From church alone, I can count a handful of these civil servants. Because of this, we make a point of telling Addie that so-and-so's daddy or mommy is a police officer, that Daddy's friend is a policeman, that Mommy and Daddy are going to a wedding and there is going to be a policeman there, that so-and-so's neighbor is a policeman, and that there is a policeman living around the corner from us. 

By making these officers "real" to our children, our children become even less intimidated by the uniform and are more likely to reach out to them when they need help. It also gives them someone to pray for, and puts a real face to the uniform.

4. Show them appreciation with your children in tow. The holiday season is a wonderful time to show our appreciation to our civil servants. Making cards for them, bringing cookies, and saying thank you is a great way for our children to learn respect for our civil servants and to see them smile. And, really, what is better than seeing a man or woman in uniform smiling?

Our children need to know, in more than just words, that our civil servants- police officers and fire fighters- are approachable and have chosen to be protectors of our citizens. They need to know that God has these men and women here to protect us. They are official servants under God. (Romans 13:6) 

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