Teachsafety

parent and teach safe kids

IT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT AT THE FAIR!

A boy with sister in tow approached my daughter and granddaughter in the 4H petting Zoo Building at the County Fair.
He asked “Do you have a cell phone?” She assured him she did, and asked if he needed help.
He told her he couldn’t find his parents and then proceeded to reel off his parents cell number. My daughter was impressed and the family was reunited immediately.
She then bent down to hug her little girl who is four, and told her that is why she had taught her their cell number! She said, ” Did you see how he found a Mommy with a child to ask? That’s a good idea at the fair! ”
She then firmly held her hand and off they went to explore……..
Teach Safety Strategies!

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Is Your Child a Free Range Child? Were you one?

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Years before she became a celebrated speaker, author Lenore Skenazy learned that I was writing about teaching safety, and actually wrote and called me, or maybe I called her…can’t remember…. She was in a hot debate
As the World’s Worst Mom for letting her son take the New York Subway alone.

Since then I have stayed in communication with her, not always agreeing but totally supportive of the outcome we both believe in, empowered healthy kids, who know how to take care of themselves, given basic safety guidance.

We both believe that it is the parents who have become afraid, and then affected their children with the same fears. It reminds me of the parents of students I had over the years
Who were not allowed to have pets, because they could bite or scratch them.

Things I worry about.
Children sitting in front of a screen, your pick, tv, iPad, computer, video game, etc.
Children not playing in a group, riding bikes, running around with squirt guns, and water balloons, and basically laying outside, until they are really tired.
How many of us played outside? How many obese kids did you know who played outside?

I went to camp for 3 months , a whopping three thousand miles from home, when I was 8,9, 10 and 11. There was some supervision you bet, but I was not under constant surveillance. I learned to swim, ride a horse, raise a calf, feed the cows, new games, adventure, learned to Bail hay, camped and sang around a campfire…made homemade peach ice cream…picked blue berries in the White Mountains…..the best summers of my life.

I was always hungry at supper time , always happily tired at night and skinny as a rail.
I never once felt unsafe or afraid.

Even at home, we always played till dark or until our Mom whistled.

So why am I telling you all this?
I wrote a book to teach children how to be alert to behaviors, what to do if faced with bad behavior and what I had hoped to gain is empowerment for parents as well as children.

I have not seen the study Lenore discusses, with Forty year low in kidnappings,
But safety is so much more than that. It is teaching kids common sense and resourcefulness.
Think about the girl and boyscouts. Don’t they end up earning badges in being resourceful?
Knowing what to do when faced with situations, commonly called, life?

Yes, there will always be bad behavior with humans, from the playground to the grave.
But keeping a child locked up, or in a parade of careful scheduled activities is not the answer.

When you give my book, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?, 20131228-075925.jpgto a teacher, a new parent for a baby shower, to a friend, you are not just hoping to help their children become safe people, but the actual teaching of the kids then allows that parent to allow their child to become “Free Range.”
If parents each felt they have helped to develop a child into an empowered
Human being, you will see more children, emerging from their air conditioned homes,
Asking each other to go and play!

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Stranger abductions are extremely rare, but bad behavior is not!

Make sure you have given your child a simple to use plan, to stay safe.
Say No! To bad behaviors and scary situation, Go, quickly and Tell a safe adult until they are heard, and the situation is resolved safely!
Give them a plan, give them a chance to have to tools to save themselves!

http://205.234.241.62/balitangamerica/pinay-girl-rescued-hours-after-abduction-by-stranger/

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WHAT IS LIFE WORTH?

It is very important to have the discussion with your children about the value of human life.
Teach empathy. Model empathy. If a child can truly put themselves into the shoes of another
human being, you will have a great start on a child who will not bully but become a champion,
A defender, and that is a good and noble thing.
A boy I did not defend, in my neighborhood hung himself, back in the early sixties….I was young,
and no one had ever asked me if I had witnessed bullying…..no one had ever had a dinner conversation with me about what to do if I witnessed bullying….I didn’t do it, but I didn’t help either.
I am not sure I ever discussed it with my mom after….she was a single mom and had to struggle and get work and food on the table, a good mom, but just never thought of discussing this subject!

With the explosion of bad behavior on the Internet, we have this thrown up into our faces where it can no longer take a back seat. Bad children, are generally not being brought up in a framework.
As a teacher, I used to tell parents, that the child was the picture, but they were responsible for the frame.
So teaching safety, which I struggle to understand, has not reached importance.
Hence,
we have this generation growing up, exposed to so much at school, on television, and on the web, that must be handled, thoughtfully by parents, so that a child can navigate through. They need to see the positives, and the negatives and keep a set of values concurrent with those of parents who want to raise healthy, happy, and productive adults.

If you have not kept up with the news, you need to hear about the horrible, bullying that happened in Florida and then think, how you can use this story, and others like it, to have a discussion, with your children.

20131018-060121.jpgGirls, 12 and 14, arrested in death of bullied Florida girl who killed herself
Published October 15, 2013FoxNews.com

Rebecca Sedwick was “terrorized” by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts, authorities say. (MYFOXTAMPABAY.COM)
WINTER HAVEN, FLA – Two girls have been arrested in the death of a 12-year-old central Florida girl who authorities say committed suicide after being bullied online by several girls for nearly a year, a sheriff said Tuesday.

A Facebook post from one of the girls saying she didn’t care about the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick led police to the arrests, according to Sheriff Grady Judd. The suspects, ages 12 and 14, have been charged with felony aggravated stalking, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

“We decided, look, we can’t leave her out there,” Judd said. “Who else is she going to torment? Who else is she going to harass? Who is the next person she verbally and mentally abuses and attacks?”

“The parents were not doing what parents are supposed to do”
– Sheriff Grady Judd

Judd held a press conference on Tuesday morning and said authorities acted fast because even though the accused girls’ parents were contacted by police about Sedwick’s death, the parents did not cooperate with police and the girls were still able to use their social media accounts.

“The parents were not doing what parents are supposed to do,” Judd said. “My goodness, wake up, girl.”

He said police moved in and made the arrests because it was unclear if the girls would pick a new victim.

Judd said Sedwick was “terrorized” by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts. Some of the girls’ computers and cellphones were seized in the investigation. He said the two girls arrested were the major culprits. One of the suspects had been dating Sedwick’s former boyfriend. The two had gone to the same school where, at one point, there was a physical confrontation between the girls.

The girl who had been dating Sedwick’s former boyfriend went to friends around the school and tried to have them turn on Sedwick, Judd said. The girl posted comments on the Internet saying Sedwick should “drink bleach and die,” Judd said. The second girl arrested was a former best friend of Sedwick’s who was influenced by the other girl to turn on her, Judd said.

A man who answered the phone at the 14-year-old’s Lakeland home identified himself as her father. He told The Associated Press that his daughter was “a good girl” and he was “100 percent sure that whatever they’re saying about my daughter is not true.”

Judd said the girls face felony charges because of Sedwick’s age. Though Florida has adopted a bullying law, Judd said the sheriff’s office was not likely pursuing any other charges against the girls.

Judd said he released the names and pictures of the girls who were arrested because they’re accused felons. Fox News is not releasing their names or pictures because they are minors.

A 12-year-old girl was also arrested in the case. A message left at her Lakeland home was not immediately returned.

Sedwick’s mother removed her from the school after the 2012 school year, but the bullying continued on the girl’s cellphone via social media, Judd said. On Sept. 9, Sedwick climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant and jumped to her death, authorities said.

After the suicide, police looked at the girl’s computer and found search queries for topics including “what is overweight for a 13-year-old girl,” “how to get blades out of razors” and “how many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die.” One of her screensavers also showed Sedwick with her head resting on a railroad track.

Florida has a bullying law named after a teenager who killed himself after being harassed by classmates. Amended July 1 to cover cyberbullying, the law leaves punishment to schools, though law enforcement also can seek more traditional charges.

Both girls were charged as juveniles with third-degree felony aggravated stalking. If convicted, it’s not clear how much time, if any at all, the girls would spend in juvenile detention because they did not have any previous criminal history, the sheriff said.

“Time may not be the best trainer here. We’ve got the change this behavior of these children,” Judd said.

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this

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Teach Your Children and Grandchildren to Swim!

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” LOOK MOMMY, DADDY I’M DOING IT!”

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