Keeping Our Children Safe.

Jun 5 18:57 2007 Maggie Reigh Print This Article

Are we loving our children to death?

Authors Stephen Glenn and Jane Nelson say that we are the only species that actually puts our young at risk by overprotecting them.

Isn’t it time we talked about what Keeping our Children Safe! Is really all about?

Fear has infiltrated the minds and hearts of too many families in our society.  With the news filled with the horrors of child pornography and child abduction,Guest Posting many parents spin into panic, determined to protect their child at any cost.

In their panic to protect children, parents may actually put them at greater risk. Desperate to keep them safe parents sometimes seek to instill fear in their children. “Don’t talk to strangers; Stay inside where it’s “safe”; Stay off the internet chat lines. Look out! Be careful.” 

Such imposed fear may shut down the greatest chance of survival our child has in any situation – his connection to his own instincts which have the ability to keep him safe.  I remember a journalist’s story of three boys, who narrowly avoided abduction, save for one of the boy’s intuition and instinctual survival skills.  The three boys were walking home from school when a car pulled alongside.  The lone man in the car told the boys their fathers had ordered him to pick them up and insisted they get in.  While two of the boys readily complied, the third ran quickly to a neighborhood home, the police were called, and the boys returned safely home. When the journalist investigated why the third boy ran for help while the first two climbed in immediately, she discovered that although all three boys knew never to take rides with strangers, the first two boys came from strict authoritarian homes.  Both were afraid of defying their fathers.  The third boy came from a home where he was taught to listen first to his own intuition (a very necessary survival skill), and had considerably more responsibility and personal power in his life.

If you really want to keep your children safe, help them stay connected to their intuition and instincts.

  • Allow children to trust their own instincts.  If children notice that something is wrong with you or someone in your family, don’t tell them, “It’s nothing,” and brush it off as if they wouldn’t understand.  Honor their observations and feelings and be honest.  You might say, “You’re right, something is bothering me and I guess I have been anxious.  It’s okay, though, I can work it out. Thanks for your concern.”   If your spouse passes out at the table from an overdose of alcohol don’t tell your children s/he’s “just sleeping.”  When children instinctively know there’s something wrong and we deny it they learn to doubt their own instincts.
  • Honor your child’s connection with her own body.  I’ve heard it said that a sweater is a garment a child wears when her mother is cold!  Stop insisting that you know best what your child needs.  Make the sweater available and provide nutritional choices for food and let children decide for themselves what their body needs.
  • Don’t tell children not to speak to strangers. (How on Earth will they ever make friends, build community, or function in a work place setting if they follow that advice?) Instead, help them to tune into themselves and listen to inner warnings signals when dangerous situations arise. How do you know when you’re in real danger? Talk about challenges both you and they face every day and how you can respond to them.
  • If children hear distressing news be sure to talk about it with them, discussing the ways they can avoid or deal with harmful situations.  Teach children how to relax their mind and body and let go of worries.  (If you’re unsure of how to do this look for CDs or books to help you.  My CD, Remembering De-Light, was developed for this very purpose.)
  • Talk honestly and candidly with your child about the image s/he is putting out over the internet and what that can attract.  Help her realize that it’s impossible to know who is really writing to her unless she already knows her chat buddies. “Hot cutie” may be a title that attracts teen boys – but it may also attract much older men.  Is that what she wants? Instill awareness but not fear.
  • Listen to your child when he tells you, “It feels funny when Uncle Henry tucks me in at night.”  I know a number of people who have reported such incidents to their parents but the parent did nothing for fear of stirring up trouble with Uncle Henry.
  • Get a handle on your own paranoia!  It can keep you distraught and disconnected from your own inner wisdom and can create chronic anxiety in both you and your child destroying your quality of life.  Realize that the vast majority of abductions are made by non-custodial parents or grandparents.  Stop keeping your child house bound and encourage them to get out into real life situations which will present the challenges that will strengthen their inner awareness and ability to handle themselves in all situations.
  • Always remember, “Life is where you put your attention!” (R. Bach) Keep your attention on creating what you know is healthy and beneficial for you and your child.

© Maggie Reigh 2006 

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Maggie Reigh
Maggie Reigh

Maggie Reigh is an international speaker, author of the book and program 9 Ways to Bring Out the BEST in You & Your Child and published storyteller. Maggie has helped thousands to live more harmonious and meaningful relationships. For more parenting tips and to sign up for Maggie’s free newsletter visit  email:  

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