Are You a COURAGE-Coach or a Fear-Coach?
The Shooting Massacre in Newtown, CT is forcing you to choose! That is the silver lining of this national tradedy.
Our phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from the media asking the same question: “What can people teach their kids TODAY … about surviving an active shooter?”
Our serious gun survival principles, discussed in media interviews and on this website, will receive some criticism and negative feedback–responses that we absolutely expect and are willing to absorb and debate. Our opinion is based on our life-long, deep research and experiences.
WE KNOWINGLY PUSH “NEXT LEVEL” TRUTH on the public. Fed-up law abiding citizens are ready for us … others are not. Our survival message is NOT for dependent people who thrive on whining, blaming and expecting comfort and rescue. Our survival message is perfect for those who thrive on personal responsibility, self-reliance and truth!
There are TWO levels of SURVIVAL DEFENSE:
1. EMOTIONAL Defense 2. PHYSICAL Defense
This is the hard one, parents. Pull YOUR emotions into order. Choose to be your child’s COURAGE COACH. (It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being a Fear-Coach!) A “coach” never lets his/her team see him weak, out of control or out of ideas. A coach … is the ultimate motivator, especially in difficult times. Your kids thrive on your emotional stability. If your spirit, described by your language, is filled with hopelessness, fear, panic and frustration in the midst of this tragedy … your kids will learn hopelessness, fear, panic and frustration! Think that through. As you child’s #1 teacher, role-model … and now COURAGE COACH, think about how a tendency to slip into fear-based negativity (in the middle of a crisis) is going to influence them now, and throughout their entire life. Did you know: People programmed to PANIC–PERISH!
Yes, it’s reasonable for you to be upset, especially if you find yourself ADDICTED TO THE TV TO STAY ON TOP OF THE FACTS. Please learn to digest the facts with the interpretation of COURAGE for your kids! If you need to a good, long cry (especially later … when cameras focus on the victim’s families and the funerals) then go to the the bathroom, turn on water to hide the sound … let those tears out PRIVATELY! Remember, you are crying for people you don’t know. That is precious, unless those tears scare your kids. After the tear-release, put on your GAME-DAY FACE and decide to have an inspiring and life-saving chat with your kids at your kitchen table.
We’ve produced DVD’s and written books and conduct seminars. For the purposes of this BLOG, here is a quick summary.
Whether an adult or a child, response to an “active shooter” is rooted in THREE options: RUN! HIDE! FIGHT RIGHT!
1. RUN (You and they know already this…) It’s important that students follow the teacher’s instructions! In addition, encourage your children to use their book bag as a SHIELD. After the Columbine shooting, Mike conducted a test at the Police Range, later proven by Dr. Cindy Bir, Wayne State University. His tests proved that 2.5 to 3.5 inches of compressed paper (school books, reams of paper, etc) stops most hand gun bullets. This is protection equivalent to a police officer’s bullet resistant vest. Encourage your children to RUN holding a SHIELD!
2. HIDE: BE INVISIBLE! CALMNESS, QUIET and SELF CONTROL are critical when hiding. Whether alone or hidden by teachers, teach your children to stabilize the INSIDE of their body:
- BellyBREATHE … Deeply! Quietly!
- GRIP your hands, SQUEEZE or HOLD something like a glue stick, magic marker etc. That’s the purpose of a STRESS BALL …right? GRIPPING circulates blood away from your overloaded, pounding HEART. When combined with deep breathing muscles are fueled by the controlled flow of oxygen and blood to your head, hands and feet. This allows clear thinking, “unfreezing” your limbs and the positive use of the incredible gift of ADRENALIN … for super-human, split second muscular strength should a physical “miracle” be needed.
- Visualize your FAMILY and LOVED Ones …for inspiring motivation to do the impossible. Think: “I’m going HOME!”
- Choose COVER over CONCEALMENT … if you can! Make it a game: Have your kids think like police officers who take COVER behind barriers (like concrete walls/pillars) that are likely to stop/slow down the impact of bullets. If no COVER exists, choose concealment … anything you can hide behind. Discuss examples like a bathroom stall: thin medal door: stand up on toilet to hide feet/legs.
3. FIGHT RIGHT! Decision Guide: If your kids play video games that involve “shooting” at any level (including PacMan) … they absolutely can handle this critical life saving PRINCIPLE. Please discuss this TRUTH: Shooters don’t kill victims, BULLETS kill victims. BULLETS are guided into accuracy by the BARREL of the gun. A bullet that strikes the heart is a different level of injury than a bullet that strikes the shoulder. With that simple truth in mind … teach your mature adolescents and teens this LIFE-SAVING PRINCIPLE: This choice is recommended ONLY if your child is extremely close to the SHOOTER.
- GRAB-Redirect the gun BARREL … do all in your power to move the bullets so they miss your KILL ZONE. Your hand will likely be burned and/or injured. That’s OK! Better a bullet go into your hand than your heart!
- Strike shooter’s THROAT with your “L”ove Hand, or anything in your hand like a highlighter, water bottle, phone, etc. It is critical to STOP the shooter from pulling the trigger! (Encourage kids to practice this “L”ove strike … on empty cardboard toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes, regularly! It’s FUN! Practice with a SMILE and a ROAR from the belly!)
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS READY FOR THIS? Maybe this will help. It’s not about age, it’s about emotional maturity, a decision only YOU can make. In our home, our daughter was taught our complete survival message when she was 7, our son … 8. He was less mature. (Sorry Jim!) Our experience is that our kids (and other people’s kids) love being talked to on an adult level, about adult things. They want to know. They want responsibility. They want to know they can save their own life … because they LOVE their family and they want to “see themselves WINNING and coming home. How you explain these things (in an atmosphere of love and fun) is actually more important than “what” you say.
ISN’T MY CHILD TOO SMALL? Believe that COURAGE can come in small packages! Success depends on your child’s programming from YOU! We are not suggesting that your children “take the gun away from a shooter.” Of course that is not possible! We encourage you to teach the PRINCIPLE (which requires no strength, just guts) simply move the barrel to redirect the bullet’s path away from your KILL ZONE (think of that as a bowling-pin shaped “center mass” including the head, neck, chest, and stomach.)
MY CHILD IS TOO SMALL TO REACH THE THROAT! Odds are … that is NOT true. Have your child raise his/her hand. It reaches up farther than you think! Your child doesn’t need to touch the top of shooter’s head. The shooter’s throat is about 12 inches lower. BELIEVE your child will find a way! Parents! You have been programmed to visualize all the ways your child will fail and I want you to STOP that! Remember, you are a COURAGE Coach, not a FAILURE Coach! See your child “finding a way, no matter what” so that your child can absorb that belief!
BUT MY CHILD MIGHT GET INJURED or SHOT! True. Remember this PRINCIPLE for survival is a DESPERATE, LAST OPTION CHOICE TO SURVIVE AN ACTIVE SHOOTING where your child is likely injured or killed anyway. In our family, we’ve had the gutsy discussion (again today) that no matter what…we die TRYING! We will NOT die passively.
COURAGE is a family philosophy that feels good and allows your family members, like ours, to speak with HONOR about each others extraordinary abilities, if tested. In our home, SURVIVING any crisis–is an expectation! Courage Coaches must be vocal about believing in their child’s COURAGE and CAN DO IT spirit, because pundits on TV won’t, neighbors won’t, most extended family members won’t. The addiction to constant negativity and FEAR is rampant and is infecting your child, if you allow it. Choose to neutralize society’s negativity with regular, loving discussions of personal power and natural strength, at your kitchen table! Please use this national tragedy as a reason to start — today!
And oh by the way…the ODDS of your kids ever needing this “active shooter” PRINCIPLE in their entire life is SLIM to NONE! The good news is–your kids, like our kids, will emotionally stabilize because they have a real CHOICE and most importantly … your priceless blind belief in them!
If you want more specifics, please contact us. We LOVE feedback and we truly care about your family’s emotional health and safety!