Teachsafety

parent and teach safe kids

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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Bad Behavior in the News and Family Watchdog

What Can You do Today? go to familywatchdog.us/ You can ask for information on sex offenders, etc. who live/work in your area. 

 I get automatic updates and you can too.

There are good people everywhere and a few bad apples that muck it up for the rest of us!

If the shooting in Texas was not hair-raising  enough, let’s pay attention to the headline from Washington State,  and then applaud the students who called  911 to help them when a recent parolee broke into the roomate’s home.  He threatened, and began the systematic abuse by binding the first 4 girls laying on the floor. He laid down his knife when he ran out of electrical tape, and he began looking for something to bind the girls. 

Meanwhile in two separate areas of the home other roomates are calling 911.

Back at he scene of the unfolding crime, the two unbound girls have hidden and passed down the assailant’s knife beneath them as he went in search of more tape……

OUTSIDE- the 911 calls produce 4 police cars,

 the man is arrested without incedent……

The lesson-

The proactivity of the girls is impressive.  In the face of a very real and imminent threat, they took action ,and we should all give them an ovation!

Some parents, and hopefully teachers too, prepared these girls to act in the face of intimidation.  They turned their situation ” on it’s head.” SAYING NO! to bad behavior.

I always recomend children grow up playing in fun and safe ‘packs’

Here is a grown up example of young people working together to stop someone with very bad behavior.

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What Should You Do?

What Should You Do?

No one is allowed to hurt you, take you, scare you, or touch you where
your bathing suit covers.

If someone grabs your arm to take you, use your plan.
Make a Fist, Grab Your Wrist and Pull.
from What Should You Do? a guide for teachers and parents
by Melinda Reynolds Tripp 2010
available on Amazon and through
Tate Publishing

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911

Good people are everywhere, all week I have been blogging about 911 heroes, children who have saved themselves and their families.  Last night a good Samaritan stayed with a frightened-pregnant woman who had just been slammed intro by a truck running a red light.  This man stayed with her until the police and her husband arrived.  You never know when you might need help, from an everyday hero,  last night it was my daughter, and I’m so grateful she and the baby are fine. 

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