Children of police officers know all too well the danger their parent faces on a daily basis. Children see news reports and social media postings about officers killed in the line of duty. They also hear negative comments about police officers in the news, in school, or in public that can leave them confused and scared.
Children often feel disconnected from a significant part of their parent’s life because there are so many things about an officer’s day that he or she cannot and should not share with children or other family members. It is important for officers to address issues in the news and talk to their children about the job to help alleviate their fears.
It is also important to talk to kids about the reality of the work schedule. Officers often miss holidays and special occasions because of their jobs. In reality, officers sometimes go many days without seeing their children due to shift work and overtime hours. Children need to understand the work schedule so they know what to expect and understand when their parent cannot attend some of their events.
As hard as officers work to protect their families from the horrors of their job, the stress that they feel can be sensed by their children. Children may not know the specifics of why their parent is stressed, but they see the concern in their face and hear it in their voice.