Safety Resources

The following original articles by Amy Tiemann PhD or Irene van der Zande are referenced in Doing Right by Our Kids

Irene van der Zande's articles are cross-posted from


“No forced kisses” for the holidays, the cultural change we need now

As parents well know, the holiday season is both incredibly exciting and potentially overwhelming for kids, sometimes all rolled together into one. At gatherings with families and friends, expectations about affection, attention, and teasing can create unnecessary stress and discomfort. By accepting our children’s different personalities and thinking through our boundaries ahead of time, we can teach our kids important life skills and make holiday parties and reunions more fun....  READ MORE

Kids and sports: staying true to our core values in a sports-crazed world

Athletic competition gives us an important window into American society. Whether it takes place on a tennis court, soccer field, track and field, in a swimming pool, hockey rink, baseball diamond, or football stadium, many Americans are sports-crazed society. Living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I see every day how our powerhouse college basketball team, the pride of UNC, shapes important aspects of the University of North Carolina...  READ MORE


The night Intuition saved four lives on the way home from the safety seminar

Earlier this year I taught a Doing Right by Our Kids parent education seminar, featuring Kidpower and other best practices for teaching child safety, to an evening workshop at a Montessori School in Raleigh, North Carolina. We had a lively discussion among a group of over 40 adults, and I presented my full talk, including my thoughts about the neurobiology of intuition... READ MORE


Universities realize that they are youth-serving organizations: a starting point for creating safety policies

The Penn State child abuse scandal opened the eyes of college administrators across the country. How could Jerry Sandusky molest children for more than a decade within programs that operated in the facilities of the revered Penn State football program? The answer to that question is a complicated one to be explored elsewhere, but the scandal has made colleges and universities across the country aware that... READ MORE


Face Bullying With Confidence: 8 Kidpower Skills We Can Use Right Away

Most harm caused by bullying is preventable! The following 8 Kidpower skills have helped to prepare countless people of all ages and abilities to prevent and stop bullying. Whether you are a parent, educator, or other caring adult, you can coach young people to practice these bullying prevention skills to protect them from most bullying, increase their confidence, and help them develop positive peer relationships. Whether you are a parent, educator, or other caring adult, when you are coaching someone to practice safety skills, this individual is your student...  READ MORE


Facing Prejudice With Compassion and Determination

Like countless others, I have been deeply troubled by the news stories about boys and men of color who have been humiliated, harmed, or tragically killed by law enforcement officials in situations where it is hard to believe the same thing would have happened if they had been white. As these cases add up in the public awareness and our legal system fails to address them in ways that seem fair... READ MORE


How to Pick a Good Self-Defense Program

The right kind of self-defense training can increase the safety and confidence of kids and adults alike and choosing an effective and supportive program is essential. Done well, self-defense workshops can be exciting, empowering, and life-changing. Done poorly, they can be boring, discouraging, or destructive. The quality of the program and approach of the instructor will make a huge difference in the results of any kind of training. Self-defense... READ MORE


Preparing Children for More Independence

Parents often struggle with the question, “How can I give my child more independence while keeping her or him safe?” Instead of taking an “all-or-nothing” approach to having children do different activities without adult supervision, Kidpower recommends the following five-step plan.

Step 1. Make realistic assessments about your child in each situation

Step 2. As a family, learn and practice “People Safety” skills, which are skills to help people be emotionally and physically safe with people everywhere they go... READ MORE


Understanding Institutionalized Oppression

Prejudice and institutionalized oppression are at the root of a great deal of bullying, abuse, assaults, and other violence. Through greater knowledge and skills, we can protect children and teens from the harm done by these destructive beliefs – and can help prepare them to protect themselves.

Understanding how institutionalized oppression works can help caring adults to teach young people how to take charge of their safety in the face of unjust actions and prejudiced attitudes that are hurtful, upsetting... READ MORE