Parents talk about tough conversations they must have with their children in 2019

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Many things have changed since parents, who are now sending their own children to school, were kids, including conversations parents are having that weren't had with them as children.

ABC11 wanted to know what concerns today's parents are facing when it comes to different and new conversations with their children, so we set up a white board at Pullen Park and asked parents to write down their concerns. We took those concerns to a local education professional.

The top three conversations parents had with their children that their parents did not have with them:

1. Lockdown drills/School shootings.

"My mom didn't have to have that with me when I was growing up, because we felt safe at school," Johnston County mom Lisa Esteep said.

Dr. LaVerne Mattocks-Perry is with Student Support Services with Durham Public Schools. "The best thing parents can do is make sure they're honest with their young people. Talk to them about their worries and help them understand that there are adults in the building who are there to take care of them."

Dr. Mattocks-Perry also noted that school lockdown drills aren't meant to be scary, but to empower students to know exactly what to do. She also says that parents, in order to get piece of mind, should take the time to familiarize themselves with school lockdown procedures. Know what will happen if your child does go through a lockdown.

2. Internet/ Social media

This includes what kids see and what of their information is online--as well as social media and cyberbullying.
Dr. Mattocks-Perry said that personal devices aren't required by the school.

"So one thing they can do is have a conversation with their children as they get older and try to understand what is the appropriate amount of access they should have to those devices."

It's important for kids to know that just because an app may promise anonymity, don't assume it's true. What is said and done on the internet has the potential to be seen by millions. That could impact students' immediate and distant future.

3. Conversations about the LGBTQ+ community

"I don't want her to have any ideas that she doesn't already have," one Wake county mom told us.

"The best thing parents can do is inform themselves and help their children to be tolerant, patient, kind, empathetic people who respect differences no matter what they are," Dr. Mattocks-Perry said.

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Many things have changed since parents, who are now sending their own children to school, were kids, including conversations parents are having that weren't had with them as children.

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