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Teachable Moments
April / May 2015
A Newsletter for radKIDS' Parents and Families
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Spring is Here!  

It's an important time to review and refresh the radKIDS safety lesson for Out and About Safety.

We fully expect that if you bring up these topics, THEY will be able to teach YOU. Have fun, enjoy the great weather and most of all, be safe.


Out and About Safety 

Sight, Sound, Distance

radKIDS always have a safety partner when out and about. Your partner always watches your back, and you watch theirs. Keep within Sight, Sound, Distance range.

Sight: I can always see my safety partner, and they can always see me.

Sound: I am always close enough to hear my safety partner, and for them to hear me.

Distance: I am always no more than 3 seconds away from my safety partner.


Park and Playground Safety

radKIDS get permission from trusted adult or safety partner before going out of Sight, Sound, Distance. Always have someone watching your back.


radKIDS know we don't play with people you don't know, especially if they try to hurt or trick you.  


It is always ok to run away and tell a trusted adult if someone is bothering you.  


radKIDS never leave with someone other than who you came with. We can say No and run to our safe zone. 


Outside Play Safety

radKIDS always take a safety partner with you when you play outside. Only play in safe areas (shared and known by a parent). Make sure your safety partner or parents can see you at all times.


radKIDS never go anywhere with someone you don't know or trust. Even if you know the adult or older kid. radKIDS always get permission before going with them.


radKIDS know we never play outside after dark without your safety partner.


radKIDS always know it's ok to say no and run to a safe zone.


Malls, Theaters, and Stores

If you get lost or separated from your parents, don't panic. Go to a safe place.


No one has the right to trick you, hurt you, or try to take you away. If someone tries, Yell Loud, Make A Scene, Get Attention. Keep something between you and the person. There is nothing in the store more important or more expensive than you. No one gets to hurt or trick you. Run and tell a trusted adult as soon as possible.


radKIDS know if someone tries to grab you, Yell Loud, Hit Hard, Run Fast.


Physical Resistance

It is ok to defend yourself if someone tries to hurt you. Practice your radKIDS:

  • Toe Kicks
  • Heel Kicks
  • Shin Kicks
  • Peppering

In the ever-unclear business of raising children, parents are constantly exposed to the scrutiny of the choices they make regarding their children. The best thing you can do for your children is teach them responsibility, prepare them for the world around them, and let them experience it as they are ready, just as you did at their age.  

"radKIDS Plans" radKIDS plans
Instead of rehearsing safety tips with your child, start your child thinking about what his/ her plan would be IF...
We have created a tools for you to assist you in beginning these important safety conversations with your child. Click Here to Download Printable Card
  radKIDS Inc.

9 New Venture Drive
S. Dennis,
MA  02660
(508) 760-2080
As you may or may not know, radKIDS headquarters is located in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We have had a challenging winter and couldn't be happier that Spring has finally arrived. So we wish you a Happy Spring from radKIDS!

And as we transition out of winter and into the warmer weather, we can once again think about playgrounds, beaches, riding bikes and long walks in the park. (You know where I'm going with this don't you? Yup, eventually we're going to talk about reviewing the radKIDS rules for Out and About Safety with your children. See left hand column.) BUT before that, we just want to take a moment or two to turn your attention to relatively new concept that has entered our collective safety consciousness earlier this year...January 2015 to be exact and in of all places... Silver Springs Maryland...We're talking about Free-Range Parenting.

Every year the White House declares April as Child Abuse Prevention month and May as National Missing Children's Month. Free-Range Parenting provides us a timely opportunity to talk about both those critical issues and see where we land as a society, as an organization and as a parent on the issue of Free-Range Parenting vs. Helicopter parenting.
Free-Range vs. Helicopter 

Is "Child Neglect" all in the eye of the beholder?


Think back to your childhood. For many, the most vivid memories involve riding bikes to a friend's house or neighborhood park. When the streetlights flickered on, it was our cue that it was time to go home. Parents still allowed their children independence even though cell phones didn't even exist.


It seems that sense of carefree freedom for kids is in the past. When "free-range parent" Danielle Meitiv allowed her 10 year-old and 6 year-old children to walk to school and play at the park unsupervised, the police picked up the children and charged the parents with unsubstantiated child neglect, meaning there was not sufficient evidence to prove that there has been abuse or neglect. (see video)


ABC News: Free-Range Parenting Debate 


While Meitiv felt comfortable letting her children play without supervision, something she likely did herself as a child, when concerned neighbors called the police,her parenting choice became a crime.


Free-Range or Helicopter Parent? 

It begs the question, what should we do to let our kids grow up? Where is the line between neglecting our children and grooming responsibility? Is there a line somewhere in the middle or is it more like a teeter totter; you're either a "Free-Range Parent" boarding on neglect or you're a "helicopter Parent" hovering over your child's every move? 


Responsibility starts at home at a young age. Children learn the foundations of responsibility when they are entrusted with tasks by their parents and are able to complete them to satisfaction without correction. This builds children's confidence in their own abilities as well as a sense of pride in the results, and parents learn to gage and eventually trust in their child's judgment. Similarly, allowing your child to make age-appropriate choices in their own lives will help him or her develop critical decision-making skills. This can range from picking a bedtime story or choosing their own outfit for the day. By establishing rules and the impending consequences, you reinforce the idea that your child is responsible for his or her actions, and out of that, he or she will develop their earliest senses of right and wrong. Teaching your child to treat others with kindness and empathy will build their personal character, an important attribute of responsibility.


As your child grows, they are able to deal with more mature responsibilities, which will continue to frame and reinforce their initial foundations. Continue to offer structure and guidelines in the form of rules and consequences, both of which may have evolved and changed as your child did. Encourage a good work ethic, whether it is in school, an extracurricular activity, or part-time job. Responsibility depends on hard work, dedication, and commitment, and by helping your child practice these attributes, their sense of responsibility will strengthen. Continue to teach your children to give back by volunteering and helping friends and family whenever possible. This is an extension of learning empathy. Finally, act as an advisor to your older children. Allow them to make their own decisions with the knowledge that they may make the wrong ones at times. This is a critical exercise in building good judgment that will prepare your child for the future. So, If you're going to challenge your children to make decisions which they may fail at, it then becomes the parents responsibility to make sure that the failed task isn't jeopardizing the children's health or safety. That's where neglect enters the conversation.  


As safety experts, radKIDS instructors know that there are three components present in a victimization; the offender, the victim and the opportunity. A child alone in a park in a park is an opportunity. If a child's decision making skills fail (or he or she is tricked) then the results can be devastating. 


Because your child has participated in radKIDS, he or she already has a valuable tool kit to keep themselves safe in a variety of situations. As your child grows, continue to review these critical lessons so that they are fresh in your child's mind, and ready to be called upon at the appropriate time. This allows your child to react and not be frozen by instinctual fear. 


In the ever-unclear business of raising children, parents are constantly exposed to the scrutiny of the choices they make regarding their children. The best thing you can do for your children is teach them responsibility, prepare them for the world around them, and let them experience it as they are ready, just as you did at their age.


As you are helping your child make those good judgments, keep in mind that they are watching everything you do. You are their primary role model, and actions speak louder than words. Your child just might learn and retain more of what you do than anything you might say.


In conclusion, as a parent who has shared education and empowerment with your child, you have truly given your child a gift.  By educating, encouraging, and preparing them for the world we live in today, you continue to empower your children with opportunity instead of fear.   Whether we are a "free-range", "helicopter" or "somewhere in the middle" style of parent, the greatest gift we can give our children is education grounded in a foundation of self-value and self-worth -- as you have in radKIDS. The opportunity to live with hope, along with the power to recognize, avoid, resist, and if necessary escape harm or violence is a gift that can last a lifetime.   


We thank you all for being part of our radKIDS family and we are honored to continue our support for you and your children (free return and practice and our newsletters) Together we can and do make a difference.