All posts tagged parenting experts

Help Women at Risk

A Minimalist Parenting Fundraiser to Help Women of Ethiopia

Parents and friends, as the holiday season swiftly approaches, I ‘d like to share a gift idea that will give back:

Between October 1-31, my friends Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest — co-authors of Minimalist Parenting — are donating 100% of royalties for books purchased  to WOMEN AT RISK, an Ethiopian organization that helps women lift themselves out of prostitution.

Also Note: If you choose to blog and promote, there are 50 copies of Minimalist Parenting to share with those who share this fundraiser (you’re welcome to keep the book or give it away).
Once you blog, let the ladies know by sharing your link + shipping information using this form.  See more here.

Join us! #HelpWomenAtRisk by purchasing Minimalist Parenting using this special Amazon link:

About Women At Risk

Women At Risk is an organization that helps Ethiopian women lift themselves out of prostitution by providing them with practical support, job training, and viable employment. Mocha Club is a US-based non-profit partner of Women At Risk; the very amazing fashionABLE accessories company (which we had the honor of visiting while in Ethiopia) is the result of a collaboration between Mocha Club and Women At Risk. Mocha Club will process our donation to Women At Risk. Find out more at


Book: Protecting the Gift

Today’s post is a special topic in response to the headlines in Colorado. Parents are looking for resources and this post is meant to deliver exactly that. Please share this info with anyone looking for answers on how to move forward in relation to this national tragedy.

In the wake of the Jessica Ridgeway abduction and murder, there have been many questions asked, like:

  • How do we reconcile this with our desire to let our kids find independence?
  • Do we let our kids go outside anymore?
  • Do we toss it all to the wind and hover for safety’s sake?
  • Do we go inside and shut the blinds and stay out of harm’s way?
  • Can we trust people around us in our community?

These questions, and countless others, are running through the minds of confused, heartbroken and fear-filled parents across the nation.  When parents ask me what I think they should do, I say:

“While I’ll tell you how I handled this with my  children, it is best to consult a professional resource when assessing predatory risk. In my case, when my kids were little, I said, trust your gut. If that hair on your neck stands up, that means something. And so we we practiced. I let them interact with strangers on purpose to get a feel for how people interact with them simply so they’d be aware of what felt “normal” or a little off.  And then I trusted them to learn from those (supervised) interactions.”


But my experience, while it may inspire, does not give me the authority for giving advice in this specific, danger-assessment situation. Real data and procedure are the best bet for handling this agonizing quandary.


Protecting The Gift by Gavin de Becker

A few months ago (as if by fate for this moment in reaching all of you), I was introduced by a mutual friend, to the trusted child safety expert, Gavin de Becker. His book, Protecting the Gift has been, since 1999, a go-to source for parents looking to guide their children through the riskier realities of childhood. While it’s not a light read (due to crime statistics etc), it is a practical, step by step approach (with actionable items), to guide parents in training kids to be independent in the midst of predatory dangers. Not only does he give realistic data on child crimes (so you can abandon unreasonable fear), he gives you a plan of action.


Key takeaways are that we, as a society must teach kids to get out there and give them time to practice specific skills that will protect them should they face danger. Making victims of the world does nothing for the future. Teaching kids to look people in the eye, having an emergency plan, talking regularly to strangers (vs. hiding away in fear)- and more-are factors that keep predators at bay.


Testimonials for Protecting the Gift

Ann Wolbert Burgess, Professor of Psychiatric Nursing University of Pennsylvania:

“Gavin de Becker’s Protecting the Gift takes a giant step in helping parents translate fear into positive action that can provide safety for their children.”


Ken Wooden, Leading Child Advocate Author of Child Lures:

“Gavin de Becker has done it again – this time for kids. Protecting the Gift provides practical solutions for keeping youngsters safe from the day-to-day violence and risk that threatens their world. De Becker is truly a modern day knight – a good guy who shares his intuitive and intellectual armor with us all. A brilliant lesson in prevention”


Dr. John Monahan- Professor of Psychology and Law, University of Virginia. Author of Predicting Violent Behavior:

“A rare opportunity to converse with a master observer of the human condition. Protecting the Gift is the antidote for every parent’s worst nightmare


Casey Gwinn- City Attorney San Diego, California:

“Gavin de Becker has captured the truths from real life stories that we can use to protect our children from the predators of our society. I will be a different kind of parent, spouse, and friend because of Gavin’s profound insights. We would need fewer police officers and prosecutors in this country if everyone followed the advice in this book.”


So, in this state of sad parenting confusion, I highly recommend reading (or re-reading if you’ve read it in the past) De Becker’s Book. It delivers the hard facts and line of clarity to get through to a logical plan.

You can also visit his website- visit the child safety section for Q&A on relevant topics, like:

How old should a child be when she starts walking to school alone?

I’m concerned about the safety of children in our township.

How can I protect my son when I’m not able to be around?

How can you teach a painfully shy child to speak to strangers?

As a teacher, I’m wondering about the best policy for safety.

How do I change what I’ve taught my youngster about talking to strangers?


About Protecting The Gift by Gavin de Becker

In Protecting the Gift, Gavin de Becker shares with readers his remarkable insight into human behavior, providing them with a fascinating look at how human predators work and how they select their targets and most important, how parents can protect their children. He offers the comforting knowledge that, like every creature on earth, human beings can predict violent behavior. In fact, he says, parents are hardwired to do just that. Click to read more.

Resource for Right NOW

This article, Helping Children Regain Their Emotional Safety After a Tragedy, is excellent.


Thank you. – Vicki

Articles: Good Parenting Posts

Kids and Money:

Okay, I love, love, love this story. 14 Year old Girl, Saves Money and Buys a House. Anyone who knows me, knows that I believe in giving kids money as soon as they are old enough to keep it out of their mouths and that in doing so, we help this next generation of adults develop a healthier relationship with money. If you have any doubts as to the industrious nature of children or their ability to think ahead, to save, and to plan, enjoy this article and rethink your own beliefs around finances and your kids.

And here is another, The Best Think I have Done for My Son, which explains, in no uncertain terms, why it’s a good thing to give your kids money, in this case, a debit card, and then turn them lose and see what they can do.

Kids and Freedom:
I liked this article, Child’s Play Isn’t Really for it’s timeliness (summer is upon us) and for the point of view shared by an older, wiser individuals who can draw on their own experience as a point of reference. Written by a retired psychologist and with the wisdom of having been raised with a more hands off approach (hmmmm) I think the writer asks a powerful question at the end of this post that encourages the reader to think about the issue and it’s many ramifications.

    “ Let’s imagine — I don’t think it’s a wild notion — that child’s play is an apprenticeship for what adulthood will require. My generation, for good or ill, is now pretty much on the far side of that process. How will today’s kids fare … and with what rough beast of a future now slouching to be born?” David E. Faris ( of Aurora is a retired psychologist.

Work Is Worth!

Lenore from Free Range Kids has a great little post highlighting the recently released book ”Mean moms Rule – Why Doing the Hard Stuff Now Creates Good Kids Later.”

Not much we don’t already know about the value of work, but for those parents who still struggle to accept that inviting our kids to participate more fully in the daily activities that keep families, communities and the world at large moving, here is a bit more encouragement. I’ll be purchasing this book for my parenting library.

Trending Topics:

Sibling Rivalry – Although this article Parental Quandry: Do Siblings Need to Fight Physically? doesn’t provide any answers to sibling rivalry, it does indicate the concern parents have as they witness their children hitting, slapping and throwing punches at each other. This article serves to remind us all that any parent with more than two kids struggles with this issue. I sometimes think that parents truly believe that there is a family out there with multiple kids who have never resorted to “thwacking” each other when they reach the boiling point with their sibling. The truth is, it happens to almost every family, and although there are many proposed solutions to the sibling rivalry issue, there are a few that go a long way in both eliminating the physical and verbal fighting and repairing and strengthening the relationship between siblings. Among them of course, are regular and sincere appreciations given at both the Family Meeting and through out the day. As I like to say “It’s hard to be mean to people who keep saying nice things about you.”