Being The Secure Dad has its advantages. I note exits when I go into a restaurant. I make sure to keep my home well-lit at night to keep deter a robber. I’ve trained in self defense to be able to protect myself and my family from an attacker. That’s just fine for me. But what about when I’m not around? Who is going to protect my family. It’s an unsettling question, but there is an answer.
As a father, we must not only protect our families, we must teach them to defend themselves. This is a secure family.
After the attacks in Paris in November 2015, I wanted to quit my job and be my family’s full time body guard. Was this a viable option? Not really. I worried about my son at school and my wife at work. The best way for me to keep my family safe when I was absent was to empower them to protect themselves. How is this done? By enabling them to develop their own secure mindsets.
My wife, The Secure Mom, has always exercised good judgment when it comes to her safety. I’ve always appreciated that about her. I’ve never felt like I couldn’t trust her to be safe when she is on her own. Now that The Secure Dad is in full swing she frequently gives me ideas for articles. Once she proudly took a picture of a woman in a restaurant that placed her purse somewhere it could be easily stolen. She has a secure mindset.
My son is young. My wife and I find ourselves at this crossroads of wanting our son to understand the world around him, but keeping his innocence at the same time. Every parent struggles with this. But we have taken steps to build a foundation for building a secure mindset.
The Secure Mom has coached him on good touch and bad touch. Once in awhile the subject will come up and we review where it is okay to touch and be touched and where it is not. We have also developed and talked through fire escape plans, even going as far to practice getting out the fire escape ladders we keep for just such an emergency. I have taught him basic gun safety. For his age that means: Stop, Don’t Touch, Run Away and Tell a Grown-up. This is from a kid safety program called Eddie Eagle. I quiz him on it frequently and he gets it right.
Just recently I started playing a game with him called, “Count the Doors.” I’m teaching him the basics of situational awareness. I want him to get into the habit of seeing his environment and knowing where he can go to escape a fire or confrontation. Most people don’t look for a way out until it’s too late. My family won’t be those people.
While training to be safe is great and has it’s place, a true secure family has a firm foundation in knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I can train my family to do everything right, but at the end of the day it’s not my hand that keeps them safe, it’s God’s. I believe that a secure life resides in serving a loving God who will guide you and your family daily. Knowing my life is in the hands of a merciful God who loves me and gives me strength and security everyday. Without God, we would truly be insecure.
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my pathway secure.” Psalm 18:32 NIV.
Andy Murphy’s blog, www.thesecuredad.com is dedicated to family safety, home security and of course fatherhood. Visit weekly for tips on keeping yourself, and your family, safe.