As the father in my household I feel a certain level of obligation to be the protector. To be the rock of my house the can ensure everyone’s safety in dangerous situations. The basics of this are easy to understand and I think felt by most who are apart of any sort of family unit. But it begs a deeper question, what does it mean to protect them?
Most people would answer this with protecting them from physical harm. And I absolutely agree with that aspect. This is only one shard of potential harms spread throughout the fabric of society. To continue a dive into the physical, what if you are not with them and a situation starts to unfold. This is always a possibility unless you intend to be by their side at all times which is clearly not realistic and not necessarily within your control. Then it clearly becomes something that they must learn for themselves.
This concept is paramount to protecting your kids they have to be able to protect themselves from all types of threats the exist within society. Threats from a wide array of things like misinformation, manipulation, abuse, phone addiction, shifting job markets and many other things. This list alone is a task to come up with strategies for both learning for yourself how to manage these types of risk and how to teach what we learn to our kids in an effective manor.
I am far from a complete understanding on all of these issues and there are probably many others that I just have not yet noticed. You likely have other things on your list, things that demand their place based on a life experience you had that I just cannot relate to on that level. But it is important that you consider other aspects and the potential impact they could have on your kids lives.
Physical is one that I have thought about a decent bit and have landed on what feels like a solid approach to start out. I have settled on training in Brazilian Jui Jitsu to both help me stay in shape and to bolster my ability to be effective in a physical altercation. I also intend on getting my kids started when they are ready and at least having them train to point of being able to defend themselves. It will be up to them how far they go down the training rabbit hole. I also am of the belief that it is up to me to demonstrate what it is to live and active life and to be in reasonable shape to provide a good example. This way I can feel confident that I am able to protect them now and as they get older they can protect themselves from attackers.
Being mentally strong is also essential for one to be able to protect themselves. Learning how to sniff out lies and notice when someone is trying to take advantage of you. An essential skill in society today. This skill to me comes down to ones gut when something feels off pull the rip cord and get yourself out of the situation by whatever means necessary. Play it cool and then lie if you have to escape a scenario, a well intentioned person will understand and otherwise they will likely show their true colors. Teaching this is not as clear to me outside of emphasizing to trust in their gut as situations unfold. I will remain on the lookout to find or create a more concrete approach for this type of threat.
Education is more essential now than ever before. Technology is advancing at a quickening rate and having an understanding on how this all impacts us now let alone forecast out over the next couple of decades. We need to understand where the world is heading and what the future holds for our kids. It’s scary looking out at the issues that the world faces and learning how to handle those problems and teaching our kids how to manage a lot of likely change over the next couple of decades. We need to simultaneously never stop learning and teach our kids how to love doing the same. I hope that throwing logs on the flame of curiosity will make this happen naturally for them but once again will be working to develop some way to do this with a little more confidence.
This is not a complete list, I will be continuing to dissect this topic and learn as much as I can to ensure the best life going forward for my kids. An essential meta part to all of this is the fact that a good relationship is foundational to any of this sticking. Above all else to protect your kids you have to love them, you have to be there for them when they have a hard day. You have to deal with each tantrum with kindness, empathy and love. We all lose our patience at some point, be willing to apologize and let your kids know that you made a mistake. Embody the person that you admire, a person filled with love and patience. This is a protector that can be learned from, someone with which there is a shared respect and a deep love.
Let me know what I missed for what is needed to keep our kids safe and protected. Sign up to my blog to get notified when new posts go live.