Ask Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

In light of recent events in our little town, I have started having nightmares and slightly paranoid. This town used to be so safe to the point that people didn’t lock their doors, and always greeted neighbors or strangers. Now there are shootings, attempted abductions, sexual assaults and robberies.

I feel like we’re living in a city because of the crime. I can’t go to the store without coming across a junkie or panhandler. It really is disturbing. I don’t want to let my kids out of my sight, and keep my doors locked at all times.

This town has changed so much in just the 40 years that I have been alive. How can I relax and enjoy my town once again?

Fearful and paranoid

Dear Fearful and paranoid,

I am sorry that you feel this way. Unfortunately things always change. Sometimes the changes are great, other times, not so much. We are no longer living in the ‘80s where people can feel safe and secure without doing much to prevent crime.

You can’t change what is happening in town, but you can practice common sense and cautiousness. Most importantly, educate your children on stranger danger. Practice escape drills if there ever is a possible abduction scenario. Make sure your doors are locked and be vigilant. It is not paranoia to install security cameras at your home, because if a crime ever does occur, it is recorded and videotaped.

The number one rule to remember is pay attention. Be involved with your kids, your community, and law enforcement. Those are the keys to being safe. I hope it helps.

Dear Elizabeth,

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My husband and I have had a heated battle about our five-year-old son. I want to homeschool him and my husband is adamant about public school. We just can’t seem to come to any agreement.

He says homeschooled kids are labeled as being weirdos and they have trouble making friends. I am concerned about the education system, or lack thereof, and about the horrific bullying that can happen in public schools.

This is a constant argument in our home because our son is supposed to start school this fall and we are quickly running out of time to make a decision. Please advise us on what to do.

Embattled Mom

Dear Embattled Mom,

The debate between homeschool and public school will always be ongoing in this society. At-home education is a lot more accepted now than it was 20 or even 10 years ago.

More and more parents are opting for homeschool because they feel that their children will receive a better education and be in a safe environment. There are several homeschooling clubs for kids to make friends and enjoy activities with others, so the social aspect of school is still present.

On the other hand, homeschooling can be difficult for the parents because your child is with you all day every day and their education rests solely on you.

As for bullying, that can happen anywhere; It will never go away completely. You hear about bullying that happens in school, but it can also happen online and even in the workplace for adults. Whether you decide to homeschool your child or enroll him in public school, it is important to teach him how to handle bullies. You won’t always be around to protect him and fight his battles for him. He has to learn how to do this for himself in a healthy, safe way.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you and your husband can come to an agreement.

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