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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I think that everyone who has children or works with children should read this informative, interesting, book that provides very thought provoking questions and information that will assist you in keeping your children safe. There were things written in this book that I never would have thought about when considering my childrens safety. I have recommended this book to...
Published on May 24 2008 by Gregory Whyte

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "The Gift of Fear"...rehashed
I am a big fan of Gavin De Becker. I found "The Gift of Fear" helpful, intelligent and, often, frighteningly insightful. I have recommended it many times. That said, I am sad to report that I think it extremely misleading to present "Protecting The Gift" as a new book. Anecdotes aren't just warmed over, they're served up word for word. Whole...
Published on June 10 1999


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "The Gift of Fear"...rehashed, June 10 1999
By A Customer
I am a big fan of Gavin De Becker. I found "The Gift of Fear" helpful, intelligent and, often, frighteningly insightful. I have recommended it many times. That said, I am sad to report that I think it extremely misleading to present "Protecting The Gift" as a new book. Anecdotes aren't just warmed over, they're served up word for word. Whole chunks of chapters are identical to the first book, with only subjects changed to refer to parents and children rather than to adults. I rushed to buy this book and my advice is, if you have the first one, don't bother. As honorable as De Becker's mission seems to be, I'd say his editor and publisher are responsible for a pretty major consumer rip-off. Only the appendices seem new
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, May 24 2008
By 
Gregory Whyte (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I think that everyone who has children or works with children should read this informative, interesting, book that provides very thought provoking questions and information that will assist you in keeping your children safe. There were things written in this book that I never would have thought about when considering my childrens safety. I have recommended this book to anyone I come in contact with who has children or works with them! Gavin De Becker is incredible!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to ALL Parents!, Dec 10 2003
By 
Gavin De Becker has compiled a very thorough, interesting, readable, and *essential* guide to keeping children safe in our world. While there are parts of this book that may be unpleasant to read [nobody likes to read about bad things happening to children], it will instruct and prepare parents to keep their children out of harm's reach. I found the book very empowering and have already implemented many of his suggestions. This book also reduces fear in the sense that it helps parents seperate common yet improbable fears [child abduction by strangers] from the very real fears that they may be turning a blind eye to [like molestation by a family member]. It helps parents understand what they need to do to prevent this kind of tragedy and yet also helps them seperate 'media hype' from reality. I am extremely glad to have found this book and read it and I feel that my children are far safer because of it. If every parent would read this book our world would be a much safer place for children!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for yourself and those who take care of your child, Nov. 13 2003
By 
C. Stephans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
While expecting our first baby and then as new parents, my wife and I received loads of excellent advice from friends and family regarding childbirth, doctors, baby-care, day-care, formula brands, etc. Last week, as a father with 8 weeks of experience in parenting, I had my first opportunity to offer advice to an expectant parent. I suggested she visit two day care centers I had liked, visit the pediatrician my wife and I chose, and read Protecting the Gift by Gavin de Becker.
Gavin de Becker makes his living predicting and preventing violent behavior. His firm provides security and consultation to celebrities, athletes, world leaders, the CIA, U. S. Supreme Court and other security organizations around the world.
In Protecting the Gift, de Becker introduces parents to startling statistics revealing the violent reality of our culture: one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually molested by the time they reach adulthood; 90 percent of sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows; the most common age that sexual abuse begins is when the child is three years old. Most parents live with a mindset that denies or ignores this reality. But as de Becker shows in his book, our children are living in this reality everyday.
De Becker's purpose in this book is two-fold: 1) to hit parents in the face with the real dangers awaiting children, and 2) to teach parents how to avoid fruitless worry and to take meaningful steps to protect children. On both points, de Becker succeeds.
Parents are raising children during an age when an FBI child-pornography sting indicts teachers, coaches, pastors and judges. It is an age of guns and date-rape drugs. At the same time, many parents experience an urgent need for help in raising children, often from the age of six-weeks onward. Parents look for family, day care workers, sitters, schools, nannies and friends to provide support in raising children. How can parents assure their children's safety?
De Becker addresses this question by first focusing on the fact that violent behavior can be predicted. The book teaches that children can be taught skills to avoid dangerous situations and people. He emphasizes the development and use of intuition as a parent's key resource in recognizing threats. He cites numerous stories of people avoiding harm by listening to intuition and others who ignored intuition and became victims.
De Becker shares many practical lessons. He teaches what to look for in safe child-care workers and sitters. He lists the signs that indicate a dangerous stranger versus a friendly stranger. He also illustrates ways that well-meaning parents do things that increase a child's vulnerabilities.
The Bible teaches that wolves dress in sheep's clothing and that evil-doers masquerade as angels of light. Nothing fits this description more precisely than a sexual predator of children. De Becker teaches that pedophiles and rapists often gain the confidence of their victims through being overly "nice" and "helpful." They have to do this. How else can a pedophile convince parents to trust him or her with their children. Over and over, we see that pedophiles go to where they can have access to children and, like chameleons, blend in perfectly.
I think people in the church today are especially susceptible to this type of criminal, because the presence of evil has been downplayed and we are usually willing to give people the benefit of the doubt and accept them at face-value. De Becker shows parents how to remove doubt and to know who can and cannot be trusted.
There are several other topics in this book that I think are important to parents. The book cover summarizes one of de Becker's purposes in writing it: "By showing what danger really looks like-as opposed to what we might imagine it looks like-de Becker gives parents freedom from many common worries and unwarranted fears."
A lasting impression I take from the book is that the people with whom I and my family interact are who they are not who I want them to be. I know that some people are influenced by perverse and evil desires aimed at children. Because of this truth, I think it is important that parents read this book. I also suggest that adults, especially women, read de Becker's bestseller The Gift of Fear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for Parents and Educators, May 21 2003
By 
"bkjfoster" (Bristol, RI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) (Hardcover)
Gavin De Becker uses his experience, statistics, and extensive research to develop a method for keeping children safe. His method contradicts accepted wisdom in some areas, but he backs up his method with statistics.
For example, most children are told to find a police officer when they are lost. De Becker recommends instructing children to find someone who looks like a mommy instead. His reasoning is that most children can't tell the difference between a police officer and anyone else in an official looking uniform. Most of the time, a child will pick a man when looking for a police officer. A man is much more likely to harm a child than a woman is. By instructing a child to find someone who looks like a mommy, you are directing your child to find someone who is statistically the least likely to harm them and the most likely to help them.
In addition, De Becker exposes who is most likely to harm a child, and it isn't who the media leads you to think.
I can't say enough about this book. I plan to give it to all my daughter's teachers. I also plan to lobby for safety education based on the concepts in this book rather than traditional "stranger danger" concepts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If I knew then, what I know now..., Aug. 7 2002
By 
NC Mom (North Carolina, USA) - See all my reviews
This book reinforced some of the personal safety strategies I was already teaching my child, as well as introduced me to new ones. For example, I was taught "Never Talk to Strangers" and "Ask a Police Officer for help." Well, the one time I did get lost as a child, I was smack dab in the middle of a group of strangers, and not a uniformed police officer in the bunch. Figure the odds? But I followed the "stranger" rule to the letter (enough to make any mother proud, right?). Luckily, the adult that offered to help me find my family was simply a nice man that recognized a child in distress and not a predator that saw his next victim. De Becker questions the "Stranger" rule, the "Policeman" rule, as well as other rules parents believe will help keep their children safe. And the questions may have parents reevaluating the effectiveness of these rules. De Becker also gives strategies that won't leave you, or your children, afraid but rather empowered.
This book covers a range of child safety techniques, from skills parents can teach their children, how to interview a nanny, baby sitter or day care provider, what questions to ask school administrators about your child's safety at school, what to do if a stranger approaches, spotting a sexual predator to recognizing potentially dangerous situations (predators generally like privacy and the ability to control their victim). There are many "real life" stories that demonstrate successful, and unsuccessful, strategies. And they aren't just for kids. After reading this book, I realized there are many behaviors I needed to "unlearn" to reduce my chances of becoming a victim.
I recommend this book to anyone that loves a child or is responsible for the safety of children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another smashing success for Gavin De Becker....., May 1 2002
I almost gave this book four stars, but only because it has a few flaws, where De Becker's THE GIFT OF FEAR was not only flawless, but taught me more than any one book has ever taught me. Still, this is a powerful book. I read it without stopping for sleep, so I can assure you that it is indeed well written.
De Becker shows parents and other adults every facet of possible victimization of children and how to avoid it. When he is teaching his readers, which is always, he uses brilliant examples that we can all relate to. Take this as an example: "I would ask which is sillier: waiting a moment for the next elevator, or placing her child and herself into a soundproof sterel chamber with a stranger she is afraid of?" Succinctly, he teaches, in that one sentence, so much. How many times have all of us pushed ourselves into an elevator with someone who made us afraid?
De Becker's challenge is to empower us as parents, and empower us he does, just as he empowered us in THE GIFT OF FEAR. He instructs us all on using our intuition to make life or death decisions. I can still recall a time when my son, then just very small, and I were staying at a luxurious hotel. We went to the top-floor pool and walked right into a burglary. How I managed to get myself and my son out of there calmly and completely is a testament to De Becker's lessons on the incredible strength of a mother whose baby is threatened.
De Becker teaches us all new ways of thinking and new ways of being and new ways of protecting our children and ourselves from abuse, abduction, violence, crime.
De Becker's appendices are worthwhile, too, with listings of excellent books and important organizations.
This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a baby, child, or adolescent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Procrastinate!, April 30 2002
I hate reading anything that makes me feel anxious and initially this book sat on the shelf for weeks before I actually picked it up. I was so glad I did because there is such valuable information in here and I actually feel better about my child's safety than I did before.
Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe and Parents Sane is about how to teach your child to trust her instincts when it comes to safety. Since 90% of child abuse and abductions occur by people well-known to your child, teaching her to talk to strangers just doesn't work. Instead, the author gives you detailed and logical steps to take, starting as early as toddlerhood, so you'll know how to help your child learn to follow her instincive feelings about whether someone is safe or not.
Crucial information about how to be prepared for (God forbid but we should all be prepared just in case) the event that your child may be seperated from you in public. Examples include making a daily detailed mental note of the clothing your child is wearing, keeping large photocopies of your child's picture and name in your purse/wallet so you can hand them out to security personel within seconds of your child's disappearance and an action plan for immediate implementation.
There is SO much in this book - every bit of it worth reading so you can protect your child - and I can't recommend it strongly enough. Read it NOW and be prepared.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for parents with all age's of children, July 14 2000
By A Customer
The number one lesson I got from this book is how to help your child develope their own istincts about people. As the parent of a four year old that never meets a stranger I was always worried he'd be talking to the wrong person at the park. But now I know instead of keeping him from interacting with anyone I don't know, I should help him develope the instinctive feeling for himself of who is nice, who makes you feel uncomfortable, things like that that will be valuable to him whenever I'm not there.
Many of the examples in the book are frightening, but also realistic, in fact the stranger lurking in the park is far less common than I thought. There is a lot of information about judging people like step-fathers, coaches, neighbors that will open your eyes. But instead of being more paranoid and fearful for my sons, I feel that I can control alot of things logically, and teach them to do the same when they are ready. A great book for all parents, whether you have boys or girls or toddlers or teenagers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For all parents with children of all ages, May 20 2000
By 
Michael LaDeau "ladeau" (Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) (Hardcover)
Gavin de Becker writes an eye opening book about how parents need to be more involved in the safety of their children. I have always considered myself a diligent parent. But the author's blueprints for checking the depth of the water or checking for a clearly marked path through the woods taught me several lessons. Relying on intuition is a major theme here. But, the author reminds the parent to inquire more about what our children are doing and where they are heading. This includes becoming very acquainted with the parents of the children your kids become involved with. Only then can one's intuition provide the knowledge to make the right choices. Gavin de Becker reminds us to leave nothing to chance. Before you let your loved one visit or stay over a friend's house have you asked their parents about their policy on supervision, your child's access to you if a situation to them does not seem right, or their policy on guns for that matter. This is just one example of an uninformed state we may rely on in contrast to trusting our intuition or concerns. Woman protecting their children is covered so adeptly in this book with emphasis on a woman's innate ability to viciously defend her children when threatened. Gavin de Becker asks woman to generalize this ability to self-defense as well. But, all parents will benefit from reading this book. Again, many blueprints are provided by the author to guide the parent through the proper methods to insure our children's safety. The age of your children should not influence your decision to purchase this book since the author highlights the different set of threats to our teenagers as well. This well written book is a must-have for all parents with children of all ages.
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