OK In Health - Parenting Tips

Keeping Children Safe - October 2017

By Maggie Reigh, Kelowna, BC

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, many parents spin into panic, determined to protect their child at any cost. We are more fearful today of “what might happened” than at any time in history… and yet statistics show that “the world is now a safer place for children than it has ever been.” (as reported by author/journalist Carl Honore in his book Under Pressure – Putting the Child Back into Childhood.)

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

Such well-meaning comments can nevertheless go a long way to undermining our child’s self-confidence, and OUR 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 warning 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. Children absorb OUR state of being… do you want them to absorb chronic anxiety? 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 age-appropriate real life situations which will present the challenges that will strengthen their inner awareness and ability to handle themselves in all situations.


    Be careful not to “love your children to death!” Realize that over-scheduled and/or house-bound children are at greater risk to life-threatening diseases developed from a lack of exercise and increased levels of stress and worry. Statistics today predict that one in three Caucasian children born after the year 2000 will develop type II diabetes; that ratio escalates to one in two for African-American and Hispanic children.

    Relax a little more with your children, have fun, trust nature’s plan, and remember, “Life is where you put your attention!” Keep your attention on creating what you know is healthy and beneficial for you and your child.





  • Maggie ReighMaggie's Bio: Maggie Reigh is an international speaker, playshop facilitator, and storyteller, as well as a certified hypnotherapist. She is the author of the book and program series '9 Ways to Bring Out the Best in You & Your Child', and of the family activity package, 'Taking the Terror Out of Temper Tantrums'. Maggie specializes in helping people to release deeply embedded thought and behavior patterns that no longer work so that they can create joyful, positive, and meaningful relationships with self and others. Contact Maggie through her website. Lake Country BC - Maggie Reigh Website - Email


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