parent and teach safe kids

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


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!




Attend your local Safety Fair together.

Play and ride bikes in groups for safety.

Stay in parent approved areas.

Wear a whistle when alone and If you are in trouble blow it.
If you are lost while camping, blow it and sit down in the shade to wait!
You will be looked for!

While walking keep an eye on what is going on around you
in front, back, and side to side. If you ever sense danger,
Run to a safe place, with a safe person and tell!

NEVER wear two ear buds while walking
You need all of your senses! Drop one while out of doors.
Compromise, safe and sound!

Stay away from cars parked with people inside.

This is just a trick, responsible adults find other adults to help them.

Wishing you all a safe summer!

Brought to you by teachsafety
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What Should You Do? On Facebook

What Should You Do?
Helping Children Protect Themselves in the Twenty-First Century
2010 Tate Publishing
By Melinda Reynolds Tripp


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October is National Bullying Prevention Month

National Safe Place

For Youth…Someplace To Go. Someone To Help.


October is National Bullying Prevention Month

National Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying is a common experience for many young people. Bullying behavior can be verbal, physical or cyber and can leave many youth feeling damaged. Those who are bullied experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. Some victims of bullying have even chosen to attempt suicide rather than continue to endure such harassment and punishment.

Bullying Prevention and Awareness Facts:
More than 160,000 U.S. students stay home from school each day from fear of being bullied.
Students who are bullied report more physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, than other students.
Bullying affects witnesses as well as targets. Witnesses often report feeling unsafe, helpless, and afraid they will be the next target.
Depending on the environment, some groups – such as LGBTQ youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth – may be at an increased rise of being bullied.
Students can be especially effective in bullying prevention. More than 55 percent of bullying situations will stop when a peer intervenes. Student education about how to address bullying for peers is critical, as is the support of adults.
How can a young person stop bullying once it starts?
Avoid bullies when possible
Walk to school and eat lunch with friends
Project confidence
Stay near an adult
Go to a Safe Place
How can youth stop cyberbullying once it starts?
Don’t respond to and forward cyberbullying messages
Keep evidence of cyberbullying – record dates, times, and descriptions of instances
Save and print screenshots, emails, text messages
Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone providers, parents, and law enforcement
Block the cyberbully
No matter what type of bullying occurs, it’s important to respond in a positive and accepting manner. Let children know it’s not their fault and that they did the right thing by speaking up.

Things you can do during National Bullying Prevention Month:
Shelter: Have a group discussion about bullying and talk about how harmful it can be to a person’s self esteem. Let youth know it is right to stand up for someone who is being bullied. Discuss appropriate responses to bullying and be sure to mention Safe Place as a helpful resource.
Outreach: Be sure youth are aware that Safe Place can be an option for bully victims when they feel they have nowhere else to turn.
Transitional Living Program: Establish an action plan, which can include Safe Place for youth in case they are ever subjected to bullying. A clear plan will help youth respond appropriately and create feelings of safety.
Helpful Links




Text “SAFE” and your current location (address/city/state) to 69866 for immediate help.


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Wristband of Safety

Make a bead stretch bracelet / wristband to us when traveling with children who are too young or unable to tell a trusted adult a phone number.


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” A prepared child can t…

” A prepared child can turn fright time into flight time.”. Melinda Reynolds Tripp

Author of Abduction Prevention Education, for children ages 5-13