Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) Hardcover – May 18 1999
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Be warned: In many ways this is a terrifying book. It deals with a subject--violence against children--that most of us never want to consider. But, as Gavin de Becker stresses, such situations, though rare, can occur, so all parents must deal with the facts in order to protect their children properly. De Becker's aim is to create awareness of potential dangers and provide parents with the knowledge necessary for prevention and control. As he emphatically states in Protecting the Gift, much of this knowledge is already hard-wired in the form of intuition: "This natural ability is deep, brilliant, powerful. Nature's greatest accomplishment, the human brain, is stunningly efficient when its host is at risk, but when one's child is at risk, it moves to a whole new level, one we can justifiably call miraculous." The trick, he stresses, is trusting and acting on intuition.
In this valuable, even necessary, book, he shatters many myths about the typical profiles of regular offenders and the prevalence of such problems as sexual abuse and kidnapping. He also deconstructs the wisdom of traditional maxims such as "Never talk to strangers" and "If you are ever lost, go to a policeman." Without offering a compendium of every conceivable danger, he identifies warning signals and real risks that are often easy to spot once you know what to look for. He offers practical advice on recognizing signs of sexual abuse, choosing a baby sitter or nanny, how to prepare kids for walking to school alone, and how to teach children about potential risks without making them afraid to venture out of the house. And he continually stresses that denial and ignoring intuition are the biggest mistakes that parents make in protecting their kids from those that mean them harm. Well written and infinitely informative, Protecting the Gift affords parents more confidence and less reason for unnecessary worry. --Shawn Carkonen
From Publishers Weekly
Dostoyevski said that child abuse is evil because it destroys a childs faith in the goodness of God. In this painstakingly practical yet impassioned guide, de Becker, author of last years bestselling The Gift of Fear, demonstrates that a child who was himself abused can grow up to be a vigilant protector of the gift of childrens innate faith in the goodness of life. Writing with a precision honed from his long experience as a security expert predicting violence in order to protect high-profile clients, and with a depth born of his own childhood understanding of how it feels to be hurt by the adult you love, de Becker describes how we can keep our children safe. Although he devotes separate chapters to the special threats facing children and teens, females and males (the murderous romance of boys and guns is covered), his basic message is encapsulated in 12 steps. Echoing his previous book, the first step involves teaching children to honor their feelingsspecifically, the intuition that makes them fear certain people. Children also need a parents permission to be assertive, to defy adults, to yell and fully resist. Throughout, de Becker stresses a childs need to trust that a parent will be open to listen about any experience, no matter how unpleasant. He opens and concludes with tales of ordinary mothers who overcame their doubts and inhibitions to experience a brilliantly intuitive wild brain as they fought off attackers to protect their children. De Becker offers a guide to fostering this fierce intelligence in our kids, ourselves and our society. Everyone in contact with children should read this important book. It can help save lives. BOMC, QPB and Childrens BOMC featured alternates; first serial to USA Weekend; second serial to Good Housekeeping; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Everyone who has children, or cares about the children in their life will benefit from reading this book. Very level headed approach without the hype of sensationalism.Published 10 months ago by Elaine Parker
It is very informative, and easy to understand. I have learned a great deal from this book. Thanks Cheryl HarrisonPublished 21 months ago by Cheryl Harrison
I found this book to be really stressful to read at first, but as I got going, I realized that it was an issue I should not fear. Read morePublished on March 7 2014 by CanadianMaple
Again another DeBecker book with unfailing solid teaching and logic. Circumventing all the sappy cliches this book teaches and corrects our perceptions.Published on Feb. 14 2014 by Lisette A McArthur
I found lots of useful information in this book. The most important lesson I learned that parents can never be too vigilant about the safety of their children. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2012 by Anna
This book provides real survival skills for you to teach your children. For instance, you need to teach your children that they may need to interact with strangers when they need... Read morePublished on June 4 2012 by fanofsafeside
The parts of this book that were hard to read were the very parts that I needed to educate myself on. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by Jill D. Conner
It's like that reviewer missed part of the point: being too fearful ADDS to danger; it doesn't reduce it. Read morePublished on April 12 2004 by your catfish friend
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