Monday, February 04, 2013

How much do you value the safety of your children or the children in your care? PART 2

Many years ago I had set up a booth at our local downtown days. I was handing out flyers for an upcoming Kid Escape presentation that was going to be held at a local martial arts school. This was going to be free-of-charge to all children and their parents. As parents would walk by I would hand them a flyer. I recall this one mother walking by with two small children. I handed her a flyer. She paused and looked at it intently, then turned back to me, handed the flyer back and said "my children don't need this". I was caught totally by surprise. How in the world can a mother truly believe that her two children didn't need to know how to keep themselves safe from predators? In reality, it had nothing to do with the children not needing this knowledge, but had everything to do with the mother living in a constant state of denial. It's what I call the "ostrich syndrome". People try to ignore the reality of the world we live in. They think that if they don't acknowledge the crime and violence that exists that it will just somehow go away and they will never be forced to deal with such issues. In other words, if they don't think about it, it will never happen to them, their children, or to anyone they know. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. In fact, those living in denial are more likely to become victims. Why? Because they are not physically or mentally prepared to deal with crime or assault. This is exactly what predators look for when searching out a potential victim. The sad thing is that in this particular case, it's the children that could ultimately suffer because of this denial.

A couple of years after the above situation I was at a local private school. I was talking to a group of teachers and parents about the Kid Escape program. I was explaining how I would present the program, what the kids would be learning, and what was involved. I remember that someone asked how much the program would cost. At the time I was charging a very small fee of $1 per child to present at the schools, just enough to cover the cost of handouts and a little (very little) for my time and that's what I told them. Then I remember a father raising his hand to ask a question. Here was the question..."who is going to pay for this?" Wow! All I could think of is that I was trying to provide life-saving information to his children and he was worried about the cost, a whole $1. In other words his children's safety meant so little to him that he didn't want to pay $1 to possibly save their life. This man probably spent money on himself every week buying frivolous things but $1 was too much to empower his children with knowledge and skills they would have for the rest of their life. Wow! Keeping in mind that this was a private school which costs way more than the average public school, tells us that he wasn't hurting for money.

A number of years ago I had contacted a nearby elementary school asking them to allow me to present the Kid Escape program for their students. They just blew me off. Not more than two weeks later a predator attempted to abduct one of their students as she was leaving the school. The only thing that saved her was the fact that an adult nearby just happened to see what was going on and chased the predator off. If the adult hadn't been there, it would have likely ended in tragedy.

These are just a few examples of the "ostrich syndrome" and the reluctance of parents and educators to seriously consider the safety of their children or children in their care.

If you have the "ostrich syndrome", please take steps to eliminate it now, before it's too late.

Steve Zorn, ICPS


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-27 years training in personal safety -Multiple martial arts black belts -Multiple instructor certifications -Certified law enforcement trainer -Crime Prevention Specialist -Previous self-defense trainer for one of the country's largest airlines -Child safety specialist -Certified Fitness Trainer -TACTIX Fitness Trainer -High Intensity Training Specialist -FAST Defense Instructor -Kid Escape Instructor
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