Are you thinking about joining the police force? A policing career can be incredibly rewarding because you know that you are making the world a safer place, which will be something that every parent feels passionate about. Policing can be a good career for a parent, and many of the parenting skills that you have will translate well, but it is also important to be aware that work in law enforcement is more a way of life and it is incredibly demanding, so it can be a challenge for parents that already have their hands full. With this in mind, this article will outline a few tips for any parent starting a police work that will hopefully come in useful.
1. Test The Waters First
Before diving in with police training, it is first a good idea to test the waters to see if this is the right job for you. Police work is not well suited to everyone, and you do not want to make a major commitment without being sure that this is work that you will be able to manage and enjoy. This is why you should first look for ways to test the waters, such as volunteering as security at a community event or arranging a few ride alongs with police officers. This will give you a feel for whether or not this is work that is for you, if you enjoy it and if you have the skills needed to succeed.
2. Take A Criminology Degree
If you have no background in law enforcement, you might find that a criminology degree is the best way to get your foot in the door. A degree in criminology can develop the knowledge and skills required to get started in law enforcement and other careers in crime and justice if you want to progress into these areas. This will give you a broader view of public safety, and the program allows you to focus on the areas that interest you the most thorough curriculum electives.
3. Find Support At Home
As a parent, one of the most important steps to take if you are embarking on a career in law enforcement is to find support at home. This will involve having people that you can rely on to look after the kids when you are working, which could be at all hours. You need to have people you can trust so that you can focus at work and not be thinking about your children. In addition to this, you need to have emotional support at home because the work can be upsetting, challenging, and confronting.
4. Find Support At Work
You also need to try and find some support at work, and there is a strong community in law enforcement. You should not expect special treatment because you are a parent (many police officers have kids), but it is worth letting your boss and colleagues know as you may be able to work out a schedule that benefits you all. You may even find that another parent could look after your kids while you work and vice versa. In addition to this, if possible, you should learn as much as you can from a more senior officer both in terms of the work and how to juggle being a parent and a police officer – it is challenging, but it is possible to give enough attention to both areas of your life.
5. Learn How To Manage Your Stress
Following this, you need to be prepared for high levels of stress when you are a police officer and a parent. Obviously, looking after kids is stressful enough, so starting a new job and something that is as important and demanding as police work can be tough. You need to find ways to manage your stress whether this is through meditation, exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or anything that works for you. If you need to, you should seek support, and there will be resources available to you through work.
6. Explain Your Work To Your Kids
It is also important to take the time to explain your work to your kids and why you are doing it. Most children will see their parents as a superhero when they find out that they work in law enforcement, and this can be a great feeling. You also need to explain to them that the job means that you will have to work sometimes when they are at home, which can be tough, but it is important that they understand how important your work is.
7. Find Ways To Make The Most Out Of Your Time Off
When you have time off, you need to make sure that you make the most out of it. Obviously, spending time with your kids will be essential, and you should have plans in place that you can all look forward to. In addition to this, you also need to make sure that you have enough time for relaxing, household chores, seeing loved ones, exercise and sleep. It can be hard to fit all of this in, which is why it is important to create a schedule and become a master of time management.
8. Get In Good Physical Shape
Police work and parenting are both physically demanding, so you need to get into good physical shape and maintain this. Obviously, physical exercise is key, and you will have training, but staying in good physical shape also means getting enough rest, listening to your body, and eating a healthy diet. Try to limit the traditional donut snacks. Hopefully, the advice in this post will come in handy to any parent that is thinking about joining the police or has started a law enforcement career. Many parents find work in law enforcement, and it can be rewarding work, but you must also be prepared for how demanding it is and can be hard to juggle when you have kids at home.