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Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) Paperback – May 9, 2000
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"A must for all parents raising children in an increasingly violent society."—FBI behavioral scientist Robert Ressler
"Everyone in contact with children should read this important book. It can help save lives."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Dynamic, inspiring and practical... and an entertaining and gripping read. This is a must read for every parent or anyone who cares for kids."—Ellen Snortland, author of Beauty Bites Beast: Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls
From the Inside Flap
Warning signs of sexual abuse
How to screen baby-sitters and choose schools
Strategies for keeping teenagers safe from violence
All parents face the same challenges when it comes to their children's safety: whom to trust, whom to distrust, what to believe, what to doubt, what to fear, and what not to fear. In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the nation's leading expert on predicting violent behavior and author of the monumental bestseller The Gift of Fear, offers practical new steps to enhance children's safety at every age level, giving you the tools you need to allow your kids freedom without losing sleep yourself. With daring and compassion, he shatters the widely held myths about danger and safety and helps parents find some certainty about life's highest-stakes questions:
How can I know a baby-sitter won't turn out to be someone who harms my child? (see page 103)
What should I ask child-care professionals when I interview them? (see page 137)
What's the best way to prepare my child for walking to school alone? (see page 91)
How can my child be safer at school? (see page 175)
How can I spot sexual predators? (see page 148)
What should I do if my child is lost in public? (see page 86)
How can I teach my child about risk without causing too much fear? (see page 98)
What must my teenage daughter know in order to be safe? (see page 191)
What must my teenage son know in order to be safe? (see page 218)
And finally, in the face of all these questions, how can I reduce the worrying? (see page 56)
- ASIN : 0440509009
- Publisher : Dell; Reprint edition (May 9, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780440509004
- ISBN-13 : 978-0440509004
- Item Weight : 14.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.12 x 0.92 x 9.11 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #53,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There were great points I had not considered before like 1) why “don’t talk to strangers” is a super-unhelpful piece of advice or 2) what to tell your kids about their own bodily autonomy or their ability to withdraw consent.
Some of the drawbacks are that the book may slightly overstate our ability to prevent being victimized and also the risk we face. But in fairness, that is the topic of the book, so it’s forgivable.
Overall, I strongly recommend this, if for nothing else than to help spur your thinking as a parent about the topics you’re going to need to eventually broach and how to broach them.
A lot of what he has to say, be more aware of your surroundings and trust your gut, feels like common sense to me, however, although it is common sense, I do not practice it 100% of the time. The reason I don't practice it 100% of the time, and the reason it is not "common" sense to a lot of people is that a lot of us have been brought up in the modern world to be "nice", to be polite, to want to be liked, and, perhaps most centrally, to entrust our safety to professionals (police), and trust all the polite people around us. While that does work a lot of the time, our intuition, and just general awareness is something that has evolved over the millenia to keep us safe, our bodies as well have evolved over the millenia to fight and protect.
In a nutshell, de Becker writes to encourage us to use our brains/ intuition to take care of ourselves more, and to not be afraid to use our bodies for violence when it is the last resort. It is very interesting and encouraging to read about how to do that.
A lot of what he wrote is a more detailed version of certain parts of his other book, the Gift of Fear, which I highly recommend. A lot has been added that concerns children in particular, so I would recommend this for anyone who has or deals with children, but perhaps recommend the Gift of Fear first, and especially for those without children.
Sprinkled throughout Protecting the Gift (and the Gift of Fear) are short anecdotes of people who were attacked or abused and how the situation ended up. Some end up well, some in failure. My favorite was the mother who fought off a dangerous attacker ONE-HANDED while holding her baby in her other hand.
Top reviews from other countries
There are many words of wisdom to help make the world a better place for future generations.
I wish they taught books like these at school to young children as well in some manner. For they will be parents one day!