5 SECRET Driving Tips for Teens (and Adults) from a Former CIA Officer

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5 SECRET DRIVING TIPS FOR TEENS FROM

I was watching Sway in the Morning radio show on YouTube one day and saw a former Central Intelligence Agent (CIA) Officer, Jason Hanson, being interviewed. He discussed his life in the CIA and offered safety tips.

His interview was so compelling, I purchased two of his books, Spy Secrets that can Save your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected and Survive Like a Spy: Real CIA Operatives Reveal How They Stay Safe in a Dangerous World and How You Can Too.

Jason educates the reader on using survival intelligence at home, during disasters, and while traveling and driving.  He tells you how to escape zip ties and duct tape if you are kidnapped and how to be a human lie detector. His books are filled with entertaining and suspenseful CIA survival stories.

I am always thinking about how children can benefit from the books I read. I thought some of the driving safety tips he gave would be helpful for teens.

HERE WE GO!

Windows Up

The author tells the story of a man who had the windows down in his car while looking at his iPad. When the man took a nap, a teenage boy reaches in and steals his iPad.  Being parked or stopped at a red light can make you susceptible for a carjacking or robbery, especially when you are distracted by gadgets like your phone. Even when a stranger approaches your car to talk to you, keep your windows up. You should talk through the window instead.

Wait to check the damage

When you are in a fender bender, your first inclination is to exit the car and check the damage. However, Jason recommends you turn on your flashers, call the police, and stay inside your car until an officer arrives on the scene. The author gives examples of two people who were robbed, with one of them killed, just for getting out of their car during a fender bender.

Hand Position

I learned in Drivers Ed that the correct hand position was ten and two o’clock. This book says your hand should be at nine and three o’clock to get enough control over the car to properly execute maneuvers. This position helps you to get the most mobility out of your car because it forces you to keep your elbows bent. If there is someone standing in front of your car, you will be able to drive around him/her with this position.

Can you See the Tires?

How close are you to the stopped car in front of you? I learned you should be a car length away from the vehicle in front of you. You should actually be able to see the tires of the vehicle in front of you. Leaving this amount of space helps you to get around that vehicle should you need to get away in case of an emergency.

Driver Adjustments

Most people are sitting too far away from the steering wheel. To ensure you are sitting in the correct driving position, put your arm straight out toward the steering wheel and rest your arm on top of it. The bottom of your wrist should rest on top of the steering wheel. If your fingers are touching the wheel, then you are too far back and you need to move forward. If the steering wheel is touching your forearm then move back until your wrist is what’s resting on it with your arm fully extended.

Bonus Tips: Organizing in your Car and a Safety Tip for Kids

Try not to organize belongings in your car or put items in your purse. You put yourself in a vunerable position when you are handling your GPS or making calls on the cellphone.

Please view our lesson on how to teach kids the Safety tip, Situational Awareness, through an artistic game!

Happy Driving!

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How Kids and Parents Can Handle Cyberbullying

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CYBER BULLY

In the last blog we discussed  cyberbullying and its impact on children. Today we will learn how to handle it.

Let’s get started!

How to deal with it

Do not respond. If you respond, the bully will believe they have succeeded in upsetting you. They most likely will keep attacking you.

Keep records. Take a screenshot or pictures of what is on your screen. Print messages that you receive online as evidence.

Ask for help. Tell someone you trust like a family member, a teacher, or friend. It is important to get support from someone who cares for you.

Be mindful of what you put online. Everything you post or write online can be seen by others. It could be online forever. Someone could use your content against you in the future.

Never share your passwords with anyone other than your parents.

Share your email address and personal information with only people you trust.

Use privacy settings and blocking features to keep unwanted guests from seeing your content. If you don’t know how to use these settings ask an adult, do an Internet search, or contact your school’s technology specialist.

Use the law. Many cities and states have laws about online bullying. Many laws include the following…

  • A description of cyberbullying behaviors
  • Instructions for reporting and investigating cyberbullying
  • Consequences for those caught cyberbullying

Contact the company.  Companies that provide cell phone or online services can offer assistance with cyberbullying. Customers can call the company and report various acts of bullying. Many social networking sites have a feature where you can alert them of inappropriate messages. The company usually investigates the report and removes any content that breaks its rules.

Be a model. Become part of the solution by posting positive messages on the Internet. Also support those who are being cyberbullied by sharing these tips with them.

Use Technology. There are anti-bullying apps that can be downloaded on your cellphone or tablet. Some apps can send a message to a parent’s phone when their child’s phone receives a message that has bullying words. Spy-tracking software, which can also be installed on your cellphone or tablet, can track where anonymous messages are coming from. This helps the police, company, and or victim figure out who is behind the bullying.

For more information on cyberbullying, please read the following resources …

Digital Safety Smart. Preventing Cyberbullying by Mary Lindeen

Dealing with Cyberbullies by Drew Nelson

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Cyberbullying and Its Impact on Kids

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CYBER BULLY-2

I often ponder over issues kids are facing today and cyberbullying appears frequently in my mind. This problem is seen on the news, online, and discussed amongst our youth. I decided to research the topic and found a book, Digital Safety Smarts. Preventing Cyberbullying by Mary Lindeen, which contains an abundance of information. Below are some tips I gathered from this informative book.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is any bullying that happens online. An example is making insulting remarks to another’s email address or social media page.  One can also bully by sending a virus to attack a computer. These types of acts can cause kids to become upset, embarrassed, and afraid to go online.

Other ways kids may experience cyberbullying is to be blocked from an online group. Someone may try to get a child in trouble for something they did not do. Another form of cyberbullying is spreading online rumors about others. This problem affects kids of various interests and backgrounds.

Reasons for Cyberbullying

There are many reasons cyberbullying happens. The person involved in the activity thinks their victim deserves it and wants to teach that person a lesson. Cyberbullying can make a powerless child feel powerful because they control others through technology. Peer pressure may encourage kids to tease others in order to be accepted within a group. Some kids are jokesters and may not realize they are hurting others with their comments.

Why is this important?

Kids who are being cyberbullied have difficulty focusing in school. Their grades may go down or they may drop out of school. My former co-worker’s brother committed suicide because of cyberbullying.

Some victims may become depressed. They don’t trust others and become lonely. Eating and sleeping can become a challenge. It is common for kids to turn to alcohol or drugs to mask their sadness and hopelessness.

There are many ways to deal with and prevent cyberbullying. Next week we will discuss some of these tactics.

Stay tuned!

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What your Toddlers/Preschoolers Should Know in Case they are Lost

SAFETY FOR KIDS

Recently I was talking with another mom about preventing our toddlers/preschoolers from getting lost in crowded places. As parents, we like to take our children to festivals, museums, aquariums, amusement parks etc. These places have many people in close proximity of one another and children are at a greater risk of getting lost.

The other mom and I discussed strategies we’ve seen other parents use such as keeping the child in the stroller or using the child leash backpacks. I shared what has worked for me in the past thus far.

Name Tag Stickers

I write, with a bold marker, “If lost, please call my mommy’s cell phone at…”  on a name tag sticker. Then I place the name tag sticker on my son’s back so he won’t take it off.

Some parents make this permanent by writing their phone numbers inside the child’s shoe or shoe string.

Teaching Children Phone numbers

My son also knows the home address and our individual (my husband and I) cell phone numbers. I taught him this information by creating catchy songs and chants. We sing and shout the songs/chants around the house so it is engrained in his brain. I have also written this information on the dry erase board hanging near our dining table. By viewing this information every day, my son can internalize it subconsciously.

Teach Your Child Your Birth Name

If your child is lost, it will be difficult to distinguish his/her voice if multiple children are shouting “Mommy!” Therefore, my husband and I ensured our son knows our birth names. He finds it fascinating that we have names other than mommy and daddy. He also knows how to spell our names just in case someone can’t understand him. Again, we taught him this through songs, repetition, and writing it on our dry erase board.

Child ID Card

Another strategy is to have an ID card made for your child. My son received his first ID card at 2 years old at a festival. The County Sherriff office had a booth set up where they made Child ID cards instantly. The cards contained the child’s age, photo, thumbprint, weight, date of birth, race, gender, hair and eye color, and issue date. On the back, it gives tips on what to do if your child is lost.

The Sheriff Office recommends the card be updated yearly for children two and over. For children two and under, the card should be updated every six months due to changes in appearance as they grow.

If your child is lost, the ID card provides documentation containing the child’s information, arming law enforcement with facts to immediately start a search.

Call your local Sherriff Office to inquire about Child ID cards.

 

Just Teach your Child what to do and Role Pay

Let’s not forget the old fashion way of looking your child in the eye and firmly giving them direction. This includes telling the child to…

  1. Walk beside mommy and daddy
  2. Hold your hand in crowded places
  3. Once you arrive somewhere, identify staff who can help your child
    • Identify something distinct about the staff such as…
      • Similar color uniform
      • Name tag
    • Once you’ve taught your child what to do, role play with them!

Tell us your tips in the comments!

Don’t forget to Sign Up for our FREE Course of How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Be safe and have fun!

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