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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"National Security"

National Security is for Kids Too!

Growing up int he 60's and hiding under our desks during air raid drills seems like am awful long time ago. It seems the more things change the more they stay the same. The danger from a terrorist attack is never clearer than when we look into the faces of our children. The 9/11 attacks showed all Americans exactly how much we can lose unless terrorism is prevented. Just as parents in the 1950's found themselves forced to discuss the potential of nuclear war with their children, Americans must now find a way to explain to their families why people a world away want to cause such harm. We must not frighten our children unnecessarily, but we cannot allow them to live in safe oblivion indefinitely. As long as the danger of terrorist attacks on American communities lingers, our children must know how to respond in an emergency. As they get older, it is our responsibility to insure their education and civic awareness, in order to reduce the shock of an attack and to help foster a stronger nation. Eventually, they will be called upon to continue the struggle to defend American individuals and ideals in the face of foreign aggressors. By instilling a sense of civic responsibility and political awareness at an early age, they may help protect tomorrow what we have preserved today.It is no longer possible to control the information that reaches our children's eyes and ears. The same technology that helps them learn more subjects in less time than ever before also exposes them to frightening and unsettling images and ideas. It is essential that parents prepare themselves to discuss terrorism and extremism with their children in a factual, honest, and sensitive manner, to encourage awareness and participation without causing alarm or fostering hate. To aid in this preparation, Family Security Matters has created this special "National Security is for Kids, Too" section for parents and educators. We have sources to help parents explain terrorism to their children in simple and appropriate terms. But we want FSM to be a resource to children as well and will always include educational and interactive features to help children learn about national security while understanding how they can make a difference in defending America. By educating our children about national security, we can prepare them for another unthinkable attack and cultivate a sense of civic responsibility that can last a lifetime.

Stay safe,


Kids Safety, more important than manners......

What are the most important things parents should tell children about safety?
What should a parent know when talking to a child about safety?
Is "stranger danger"—that dangers to kids come from strangers—really a myth?
What other advice can you offer parents about talking to kids?
What child safety education resources does NCMEC provide?
I heard about a tracking device for children on a commercial. Is there one that NCMEC recommends? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What are the most important things parents should tell children about safety?

1. Always check first with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult before going anywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone.
2. Do not go out alone. Always take a friend with when going places or playing outside.
3. Say no if someone tries to touch you, or treats you in a way that makes you feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused. Get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
4. Tell a parent, guardian, or trusted adult if you feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
5. There will always be someone to help you, and you have the right to be safe.

What should a parent know when talking to a child about safety?
1. Don’t forget your older children. Children aged 11 to17 are equally at risk to victimization. At the same time you are giving your older children more freedom, make sure they understand important safety rules as well.
2. Speak to your children in manner that is calm and non-threatening. Children do not need to be frightened to get the point across. In fact, fear can thwart the safety message, because fear can be paralyzing to a child.
3. Speak openly. Children will be less likely to come to you about issues enshrouded in secrecy. If they feel that you are comfortable discussing the subject at hand, they may be more forthcoming.
4. Do not teach “stranger danger.” Children do not have the same understanding of “strangers” as adults; the concept is difficult for them to grasp. And, based on what we know about those who harm children, people known to children and/or their families actually present greater danger to children than do “strangers.”
5. Practice what you preach. You may think your children understand your message, but until they can incorporate it into their daily lives, it may not be clearly understood. Find opportunities to practice “what if” scenarios.
6. Teach your children that safety is more important than manners. In other words, it is more important for children to get themselves out of a threatening situation than it is to be polite. They also need to know that it is okay to tell you what happened, and they won’t be tattletales.