While a very serious and scary subject, it is my sincere hope that this post helps you find some additional ways to keep your children safe in today’s society, and that we all look at this as a positive thing from the need for the implementation of a safety plan and being equipped with the tools to do that.
Note: This is 1 in a 2-part post series.
The last thing any parent wants to learn is that something has happened to their child. We live in a world where technology has evolved exponentially and can be used for good and for bad. There is everything from cyber-bullying to trafficking going on right in broad daylight. People aren’t who they used to be in our grandparents’ time, heck even in our parents’ time.
The ‘good’ neighborhoods aren’t as safe as they used to be, and in fact, they can pose more of a danger than a so-called ‘bad’ neighborhood.
Yes, I know that may upset some people, but it is true. Sadly.
A couple of years ago, there was a middle-schooler who brought a gun to school – in one of the ‘most prestigious’ and “reputable’ neighborhoods in the area. Parents and neighbors were shocked. People who were interviewed said things like, “but the kid was such a nice kid!” and “We never thought something like that would happen in our neighborhood!”
And THAT, my friends, is EXACTLY where a great amount of the danger lies. It is the expectation of safety that makes people get lazy, or relaxed. And that is when things happen. Bad things.
I’m not saying things don’t happen anywhere else. They do. I’m simply saying it’s easier for something bad to happen when we aren’t prepared for it.
As parents, it is our job to protect our children at all costs. This means not only keeping… Click To Tweet
As parents, it is our job to protect our children. We must keep them safe. At all costs. Our children grow up. They go to school, to soccer, to dance, to camp – they are away from us for hours at a time. Without a chip embedded in them(haha!), how are we supposed to make sure they are safe 24 hours a day? How do we know they will be aware of any danger lurking around the corner, or even right in front of them?
We must equip them with the right tools.
Nothing is perfect and nothing is guaranteed, but following these 4 simple safety measures may just save a life.
Did you know…
In the United States alone, every 40 seconds, a child is abducted or declared missing.
In 80 percent of abductions by strangers, the first contact between the child and the abductor occurs within 1/4 mile of the child’s home. Most of these predators attempt to either grab the children off the street, or lure them into the car.
Have you taught your children what to do if approached by a stranger? Do you have a code word? Do they know any self-defense moves to help them escape an attacker? We have educated our children and we have a family safety plan that we initiated and follow, and have for years. My children know that they will have an ORIGINAL code word each time someone who is not their father nor I has to pick them up from school. Not only will my children have the word, but so will the person picking them up. Oh, and to add an extra twist? This is two-fold:
- We never, and I mean NEVER, use the same word twice.
- Each kid being picked up (even if by the same person) has their OWN original code word. The kids do not share their words with each other.
Overkill? Nope. Not when it comes to my children’s safety.
Drills. What the heck is a drill? Well, have you ever seen a martial arts class? They spar. They learn a move and they learn how to execute it safely and then they practice it. They practice it until it is instilled in them and until it becomes a natural movement for them. This is how we practice safety moves and escape plans. We drill. We practice until it comes natural. That way, God forbid they ever need to use the escape moves, they will be ingrained in them and they will be less likely to panic, and more likely to act.
Approximately 74 % of the victims of child abduction by nonfamily members are girls.
If you have a child, the whole idea of abduction will scare you out of your mind. Have you ever seen Taken? If you weren’t scared before, you sure are after the movie. We have spent our entire lives working to make sure our children are safe and remain safe, and that they are equipped with the tools to not only recognize danger, but to hopefully escape it should they ever encounter it. We happen to live in one of the top states for human trafficking. In the US, 2 children become victims of trafficking every minute. Every. Minute.
1 in 5 children 10 to 17 years old receive unwanted sexual solicitations online.
Watch what your children do online. Monitor their activities and their time. Make sure you have access to any and all accounts they have online. We don’t allow our children on electronic devices after 10:00pm and they have to be in a family area when using them so we can monitor their activities. No, we do not hang over their shoulder and watch every single thing they do online, but we can see at any point in time. We do know what they are doing and with whom they are communicating. Make sure your children, especially teenagers, know that you trust them, but that you want to make sure they are not in danger. Equip them with the safety information so they know how to identify a dangerous situation and a potential predator online. Maintain open lines of communication and ensure your children know they can talk to you. About anything.
Always, always communicate with your kids. No matter what. That is the #1 element of an effective family safety plan. What safety measures have you implemented in your family? I would love to hear your tips!
Always on the path toward becoming better every day,