Parenting Win of the Week: When the Threat Is Real

A much-needed reminder about those moments you just can't prepare for.

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Photo by: joSon

joSon

Being a parent comes with all sorts of anxieties, even down to the basics of scheduling out the million things you have to do on your calendar. For me, the start of the year is both exciting and anxiety provoking. The transition from summer to fall comes hard and I often feel like I am catching up for a few weeks to get ready for the school year.

And then, there are those other anxieties that live in the back of your head — the what if scenarios that you don’t want to think about until you are forced to.

For me, the first full week of school came with one of those...Our school was the target of a bomb threat.

It was a Monday morning and the crew of my child’s friends gathered to ride bikes. Living close to the school, this was their new mode of transportation, at least until the weather turned. So, they all left as a group and moments after, I received a call from one of the moms. She told me the school was about to go into evacuation and she couldn’t get ahold of her kid to have them turn around. Luckily, I was able to get a hold of mine who assured me they were all together, that they were alerted to what happened and I told him to all head back here.

In minutes, which seemed like way longer, groups of a few kids at a time rode their bikes back to my house where they all stayed together until we had a clearer picture of what was happening. Sirens started blaring as every fire truck, police officer, and emergency vehicles moved to the nearby schools. Those who had arrived at school by bus were taken to an offsite location and the rest of the students who were on bike or foot still trickled back home.

The threat had come via a computerized voicemail, but it took the entire day to make sure the threat was unfounded.

Talk about being nervous. The kids had a lot of nervous energy as did the parents.

The threat was unfounded in the end, and the who/what behind it is still unclear. We all resumed our normal school week the next day, but it was just a reminder that there is so much that is not normal and out of our control.

The positive of the situation was that the kids banded together quickly and made a good decision together. The other positive is the school did many things right and now have a basis to learn from what they may not have had completely firmed up.

This opened up the opportunity to have these conversations with both of my kids on how to work their way through these fears, even as I was working through them myself.

The school offered mental health support systems (as they always have in place) for those who need it and offered the same up directly to the kids, which was great.

This is not a column with any solution, rather one as a reminder that parenting is full of the foreseeable and unforeseeable challenges. By talking with each other, we can continue to learn and navigate all the school year may bring.

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