"Protecting the Gift" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 08-05-2007, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"Protecting the Gift" by Gavin DeBecker

http://www.amazon.com/Protecting-Gif...111625-1908910

Anyone read it? I am reading it and it is really helping me be less anxious and feel more empowered about the safety of my family. It speaks of intuition, something that is pretty beaten down in the American culture. It also talks about better ways to teach your children to be safe in a dangerous world and how some of the old things our parents taught us actually seet our kids up ie:"Don't talk to strangers".

Just curious what others have thought of it. Would love to have a discussion about how we teach our children to listen to their intuition, how we foster this and what more we can do in our communities to keep children safe.
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#2 of 22 Old 08-05-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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I loved it, it really helped me feel better, too. I recommend it to everyone. Which reminds me...I need to remind myself to give it to my niece this weekend to take home and give to my sister.

I do think my son has good intuition wrt to people, but I always worry of course. When he's old enough to grasp it, I like the idea of telling him to select a woman to help him if he's ever lost, etc..

That book really has helped me.
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#3 of 22 Old 08-05-2007, 06:34 PM
 
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I haven't read it but it's been on my wishlist for a quite awhile.

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#4 of 22 Old 08-05-2007, 06:56 PM
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I loved that book. It helped define a nice line for me of respecting my gut, without becoming a nitwit, and being practical without being paranoid.

The story about the boy kidnapped in the in the shopping mall made me : though
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#5 of 22 Old 08-05-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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All I can say is that his book completely altered the way I view safety - that of myself, my dd, and my family.

I am the most paranoid/overprotective mother I know (even after growing up in a totally relaxed family) and even though nothing happened to me as a child, I was haunted by horrible anxieties of something happening to my dd.

The information in 'Protecting the Gift' allowed me to rediscover and start using my gut instinct, to trust myself, and to give my dd the correct information she needed (needs) to keep herself safe.

Plus, the list of questions to ask your child's school (included at the end) blew away my dd's principal. She's starting JK in the fall, and the questions left the poor man stuttering and stammering (but I got everything I wanted out of him!)

Quote:
I loved that book. It helped define a nice line for me of respecting my gut, without becoming a nitwit, and being practical without being paranoid.
That sums it up perfectly for me!!

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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#6 of 22 Old 08-05-2007, 11:46 PM
 
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I have heard this book mentioned many times now and I would really like to check it out. Thanks Igraine.

DC
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#7 of 22 Old 08-06-2007, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So glad it has helped others!

I am almost through it (4 days!) which is really good for me because I work f/t and am super busy with my kiddos when home. A testament to how well written this book is.

I love the story about the author's upbringing. A very inspirational man.
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#8 of 22 Old 08-07-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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This is one of the best books I have read.

Has anyone read The Gift Of fear? I am hoping that it is just as good...I plan to read it soon.
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#9 of 22 Old 08-07-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Has anyone read The Gift Of fear?
Me, me!

It's a great precursor to 'Protecting the Gift', the one goes before the other.

Of course, you can read them whenever.

I found 'The Gift of Fear' was geared more toward adult safety (if I'm remembering correctly) but it talked a lot about gut instinct, using your smarts, etc.

I loved them both!

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#10 of 22 Old 08-08-2007, 02:18 AM
 
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I just finished this book today. I think I feel more empowered now regarding my child's safety. I told my MIL last week that I don't trust anyone when it comes to DS's safety. What I meant was, there is no one in my life that I would not scrutinize and eliminate from my life if I thought they were going to harm my child. I think because I was molested as a child, I was already on guard with everyone. It was empowering to read about what to watch for, instead of just worrying about everything.

"Go to a woman". The part of the book that stuck with me the most was teaching your children to approach a woman and ask for help if they are ever lost. I never thought about this before, but he says if the child picks the person to ask help from instead of looking needy and letting someone pick them, the odds of the child picking someone who will do harm is greatly reduced. And since the vast majority of violence is committed by men, asking a woman for help ups their odds there, too.

The section on guns was nerve wracking to me. We do have a rifle in our home, my husband is a hunter and I'm sure he plans on teaching DS to hunt. I wish I could just skip over that part of parenting. I still believe it is important to educate and teach respect, however, we will (continue to) keep our guns locked in a cabinet, and I don't want DS to know how to get into it. I don't want him to know where we keep the key, or the combo to his grandfather's safe.

What I didn't like about the book is that there are no footnotes, endnotes or statistical resources. For example, early in the book he states "nearly 100 percent of sexual abuse is committed by heterosexual males" but there's nothing to indicate where this information was gathered. Obviously, it's not really 100 percent, what does "nearly" mean?

I will be rereading this book many times, I think.
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#11 of 22 Old 08-08-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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Yes, I loved the book and its made me totally rethink a lot of things I am teaching my children. It is very empowering.
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#12 of 22 Old 08-09-2007, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The book was published in 1999, so the stats may not have been as accurate especially with the new laws just going into effect around that time.

Here is a website and a qoute from it about stats.


http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/ncdocs/fact_shts/
fs_child_sexual_abuse.html

"Who are the perpetrators of child sexual abuse?
Legal definitions of what constitutes child sexual abuse usually require that the perpetrator be older than the victim. For example, in some states perpetrators must be at least five years older than their victims for the behavior to be considered child sexual abuse.

Most often, sexual abusers know the child they abuse but are not relatives. In fact, about 60% of perpetrators are nonrelative acquaintances, such as a friend of the family, babysitter, or neighbor.

About 30% of those who sexually abuse children are relatives of the child, such as fathers, uncles, or cousins.

Strangers are perpetrators in about 10% of child sexual abuse cases.

Men are found to be perpetrators in most cases, regardless of whether the victim is a boy or a girl. However, women are found to be perpetrators in about 14% of cases reported against boys and about 6% of cases reported against girls.

Child pornographers and other perpetrators who are strangers now also make contact with children using the Internet."
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#13 of 22 Old 08-09-2007, 01:31 PM
 
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Hmm...I couldn't get that link to work.
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#14 of 22 Old 08-10-2007, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, I couldn't either today. I will try again and post it.
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#15 of 22 Old 08-10-2007, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are not as good as the one I posted earlier, but it does show the huge difference between genders and acts of violence. Although, from much of my personal experience working in child mental health and the reading I have done, females are increasing their violent behavior all over the place.


main page
http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/

data page
http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t48.pdf
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#16 of 22 Old 08-21-2007, 08:28 AM
 
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I'm a de Becker fan too. I use Protecting the Gift as both a standard and a reference when I speak to parents. The preschool my children attend has had me speak for the last three years as part of a parent orientation. I'm still trying to find a way to get through my talk without getting weepy, but as I tell the parents, at least I am able to discuss it. So many victims never find their voice.

I like both books and there is a bit of crossover of stories and anecdotes from one to the other. However, one of the most important points he brings up in The Gift of Fear is to be "safe" rather than to be "right." The discussion on restraining orders alone is worth the price of the book, IMO.

You can get Protecting the Gift (hardcover) for literally a penny plus shipping through Amazon Used books. At that price, there's no need to wait to get it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...7694072&sr=8-1

Ditto for The Gift of Fear, can buy it for pennies plus shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...7694072&sr=8-1

The GoF book is an older edition, but I believe there has only been one edition of PtG released. At the price, it's worth getting them even if there may be a newer chapter you're missing in the GoF.

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#17 of 22 Old 08-21-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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DHM, if you don't mind me asking, what happened to you? What do you speak about at schools?
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#18 of 22 Old 08-21-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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Finch, I speak about protecting children against potential molestation. My "voice" has come from being molested by my grandfather, who along with my grandmother were the only babysitters my parents trusted...for all the good that did. The preschool is mandated by the state to speak to the children and also to the parents. The school does it over the course of the year with the children--not as a planned event or events, just as the topic comes up naturally about people feeling uncomfortable or a segue from another discussion that can relate. The school is big on "scaffolding" ideas, so they don't set aside time to have The Talk, it just happens in a natural setting.

However, I speak to the parents during parent orientation. I speak mostly about being aware that stranger danger is a misnomer, "go to a woman", the vast likelihood that a child will be harmed by someone close to them, and using proper terms for genitalia and why that is important. As most of the new parents coming in have children who are 2.5 to 3 years, this is the first time many of them have even thought to broach the subject with their children. Certainly some parents are more proactive about it than others, but I've had more than a few parents speak to me even months afterward and say they had never even considered it to be an issue at their children's age but thanked me for raising their awareness.

I always lead off my discussion by holding up Protecting the Gift and strongly urging them to either purchase it themselves or to borrow the copy from the school's library.

This year I found myself reacting (fighting back tears) much more strongly than in the past. I attributed it to an incident about 2-3 weeks before I spoke where my DH came home early and took the kids, but without telling me. He honestly thought I knew, and he was mortified afterwards, but that was the worst 10 minutes of my life when I looked up and my kids had absolutely vanished. : The emotions were still a bit raw when I was talking about missing children. /sigh

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#19 of 22 Old 08-21-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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I HIGHLY recommend this book. I borrowed it from the libary and it's on my wish list at PBS, I'll get a free copy when my turn comes.
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#20 of 22 Old 08-21-2007, 06:49 PM
 
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((DHM)) I'm so sorry for what happened to you. I'm glad you are able to share and talk to other kids and parents, though.

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#21 of 22 Old 08-21-2007, 10:29 PM
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DarkHorseMama, how DO you talk to very little ones about this subject? My son is 2 years 10 months, and obviously is very rarely not with me, but it seems as though you think now is the time to start discussing this?
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#22 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Darkhorsemama... I am so sorry about what happened as well.

I am talking with the lady at the daycare center where my kids go 1 day a week about doing something like you discussed. I first wanted to do a brief write up in letter form hitting the high points and referencing the book to encourage parents to talk to their children about the misinformation we had as kids. If you had to pick the top 5 points out of De Beckers book (based on your personal experience) and how the parents reacted in the preschool groups, what would they be? (Do you mind if I pick your brain a bit?) Thanks.

I am motivated by my son. We were discussing some of the points in the book and he said that we should teach other children about this, so I am going to try to at least get the parents to be more aware.
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