Explore the Book

Below you will find some excerpts from Doing Right by Our Kids.
They will provide you with a glimpse into the type of material presented in the book.

Information provided here in list form is explained in full detail in the book.


Kidpower’s Ten Core People Safety Skills for Both Adults and Children

Page 40

These skills are at the heart of what we teach and practice in Kidpower workshops:
• Stay aware and act confident.
• Protect your feelings from hurtful words or behavior.
• Stay in charge of what you say and do by managing your emotional triggers.
• Recognize what is and is not safe.
• Move away from trouble and toward safety.
• Check First and Think First.
• Set powerful and respectful boundaries.
• Follow the safety rules about touch, teasing, and play in healthy relationships.
• Persist until you get the help you need.
• Be prepared to use your voice and body to stop an attack.


Kidpower’s Six-Step Process for Preparing Young People for More Independence


Page 50

1. Make realistic assessments about the situation and the child.
2. Teach about safety in ways that build confidence, not fear.
3. Learn, practice, and coach the use of the People Safety skills.
4. Co-pilot with your child to field-test the use of safety skills in the real world.
5. Conduct trial runs to rehearse independence in controlled doses with adult backup.
6. Keep communications open with listening, ongoing checking in, and review.
This process is described in detail, with examples of how to follow it, in the Bonus Toolkit on p. 217.


What do we need to know about Inner Circles?


Page 55

We need to keep in mind that giving someone close personal access to children also means that we are potentially giving them privacy and control. Privacy means being alone, without another responsible adult there. Control means that someone has more power than the child.

Safety expert Gavin de Becker, best-selling author of The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift, describes how having more privacy and control creates a higher-stakes situation, making children more vulnerable to potential abuse. A neighbor who walks by your yard with his dog, waves, and says hello to your family does not have direct access to your kids. Walking by and waving is a lower-stakes situation, especially if you or another caregiver are present, because the neighbor does not have privacy and control. If, however, your children go into the neighbor’s home to play with their dog
without you there, that becomes a higher-stakes situation because there is close personal access with privacy and control.

When adults are in charge of children, they have more control over those children. Most of the time, they use this position of power to protect children, to have fun together, and to help them to learn and grow. Adults in leadership positions, such as teachers or religious leaders, have additional
levels of power and control because of their special roles.

Young people have similar power differences within peer groups. When kids or teens are in a group on their own, power differences can occur because of age, size, strength, maturity, ability or even force of personality.

Because it is normal for some kids to experiment with negative uses of their power, adult leadership is important to ensure that a potentially higher-stakes situation does not develop between kids, including friends and siblings.

Staying aware of the impact of privacy and control on a child’s safety is important because ordinary, everyday relationships and activities often include, or quickly become, high-stakes situations. Following are some examples:


Protecting Youth Athletes from Sexual Abuse—Key Actions for all Adults:


Page 119

  • Stay aware that you cannot identify a child predator by how he or she looks.
  • Establish a league policy about child safety that everyone knows and understands.
  • Avoid having coaches be alone with players in an isolated place. Instead, even for one-on-one training, be sure that what is happening can be seen by other adults.
  • Where it is not practical to have another adult present all the time, parents or guardians might make an exception as long as they are aware that this situation requires Inner Circle level screening and oversight.
  • Do background checks but know that these alone are not enough.
  • Look for grooming behavior, such as singling a player out for special attention or keeping secrets.
  • Pay attention and speak up about anything that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Teach children how to recognize unsafe behavior, set boundaries, not keep problems or behavior against their safety rules a secret, and get help.
  • Make sure kids know how much you care about their safety.
  • Take action if a child comes to you for help or you suspect abuse or if you have any concerns.