Situational Awareness & children!
Let's get it started ♡
This post is to help you navigate how you can introduce children to safety and how to be more aware of their surroundings on a daily basis.
It is really important that we get our kids trained in all forms of Safety and Situational Awareness as times are getting crazier and more unpredictable.
I'm going to teach you guys a few easy ways to start getting your children up to par with their safety knowledge and also if you plan to teach them firearm safety as you may now have one in your home.
This post is about conditioning them to be safe wherever they are, even if no weapons or immediate threat is around. As a parent, having peace of mind is important and it even allows your child the confidence to move freely when you are not around.
Lets dive right into step one. The first thing you want to do is talk to your children and gauge what they know already. You always want to pay attention to how long their attention span is as this will help you plan future lessons. You want to make sure that they are alert while you're talking and that you're using small and easy to understand words. When I first started talking to my kids about situational awareness, I noticed that my youngest son really liked hearing the term situational awareness. He started telling me all of these different examples and ways he maybe can use it. Always start where your child is and build from there.
The second thing you can do is to incorporate books, pictures, and even flashcards with simple phrases that they can easily remember. This is super effective because anytime they forget something you can flip a card over, show them a picture as a reminder or give them an example immediately. Remember, not everybody learns the same, and understanding this plays a big part in how well anyone can retain the info.
Step number three is going to be mapping out lessons and figuring out an obtainable goal for each lesson. One of the first lessons I taught my son was just ensuring that he knew how to search for help if need be. He verbally understood what I expected him to do so we took that concept and built on it. For example, if I called out a code red in my house, that means fire so he knows 911 is the best person to call. Same as if I called a code Blue, which stands for physical threat or emergency. I wanted him to start getting used to recognizing different levels of situations as well as thinking under pressure versus panicking. These steps especially help when we are out and about. If we're out at a store, and he's on his phone and I don't want to bring attention to us I may say something to him similar like check your awareness or where's your attention or simply look up. These phrases are things that I've embedded into our everyday life so that way he's learning as he's going and it's something easy for him to remember. He instantly kicks into okay, and then he remembers what to do. Remember, you can't recognize dangers around you if you're not paying attention.
Step four is the fun step. Step four is where you learn through play. Learning through play is taking your children out and actually going over some terms outside of the home. This step gives them a different environment, and it makes for easy access to seeing the real world and people around them while using some real tactics. You can be in target or any store you frequent and start asking them questions similar to "If something happened here and you had to go find someone to help you, your brother or Me where would you go?" What would you do? You start asking these questions and allow your child the chance to think through it. You can build on being in a different environment by asking things like, "Where do you think the emergency exits are?" Here you get them to think critically and to start looking at their surroundings and what would work for them. Again, try this outside of the home. You may also want this to be somewhere where he's probably never paid attention to the emergency exits or other signs posted around him. This is also helpful because they do similar drills in school. They do fire drills and most people don't do fire drills in the home. So, giving them a different area to work through some of these skills and phrases that you are teaching them will open up their thought process. Now every time he goes somewhere, he'll be able to use these tactics to figure out what to do in the event something happens anywhere and not just in school.
Finally step five. You always always, always want to make sure that your child is 100% comfortable before you start training them with firearms. It's good to start with dummy pistols and it's good to train them to "See something, say something" before introducing any type of training tools. This is super important because until they understand the basics of safety they do not need to have a firearm in their hands to shoot. You need to ensure that your child is paying attention at all times and that they're aware of what's going on. You want them to be comfortable, but you also want to make sure that this is something that is second nature to them. The rules of firearm safety are also a good learning piece to start with. You also have to make sure that even if the firearm is not in their hands that they know what to do to ensure their own safety. Make sure following the rules is never one-sided to just what they do but what others are doing as well.
I hope this helps, and I look forward to you all reading my next blog post. now go get them babies and big kids right!!
_Taniece (Ms.Pretty Shooter)