{Safety} Crazy Comes in Many Sizes

It was 1980-something in Erie, Pennsylvania and my college roommates and I were getting ready to go out. Whether we were heading to Paparelli's Pub, the Pike house or an after hours club, we stayed together, watched out for each other and stepped in even when it wasn't always welcome.

Photo credit iStockphoto

Photo credit iStockphoto

How did we learn to do this?

When I think back to situations I was in, cues I missed and warning signals I pushed aside, I  can't believe how naive I was or how much I was willing to leave to chance.

I now have a daughter and I am not willing to leave anything about her safety to chance. With school, sports, sleep overs and the mall, she is out of my sight more than she is in.  She's young and fun and should be surrounded by curiosity, laughter, giggles and wonder.

She deserves to be safe.

She's also young and unaware that crazy comes in all shapes and sizes.

The National Crime Prevention Council shares some facts about teen victims of crimes:

  • Each year more than 40 million Americans are victimized at home, at school, or on the street.
  • For all major types of crimes, people aged 12 to 19 are the most frequent victims.
  • Almost half of violent crimes are committed by a victim's acquaintance or relative.
  • The younger a person is, at least down to the age of 16, the more likely he or she is to be a victim.

As adults, we know not to walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted. If we think someone is following us, we switch directions or cross the street and move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. We park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and people.

As women, we've become hypervigilant. We've learned from experiences, and those of others.

As a mother I have to ensure my daughter's safety.  I can't be with her all the time so she must learn to do so on her own (and with a little help from her friends). When I saw this Women's Self Defense class focusing on recognizing and avoiding dangerous situations (and not subduing), I knew I needed to her sign-up.

I want to teach my daughter to be alert to her surroundings in a way that builds confidence and not fear.

I wish this wasn't the world we are living in today but the reality is we will all be safer when we can confidently recognize dangerous situations and respond immediately for ourselves and others.

Let's be careful out there.

This post, {Safety} Crazy Comes in Many Sizes, first appeared on lisarosendahl.com

Four-Wheeler Bonds: A Day in the Life Sunday

On July 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Whether we choose to have a day to recognize a mother, father, grandparent or any another influential relationship in a child's life, or not, children need adults in their lives who love and adore them - always.

Because it's Father's Day, let's talk about dads.

Dads are cool.

I remember reading early on in my pregnancy about the tremendous ability a father has to influence the lives of their daughters. As much as this mom wanted her daughter to be hers and hers alone, she can't deny that there is a special connection between a dad and his daughter.

Neither will ever fully understand what it's like to be the other but that doesn't stop them from connecting. Rather, it creates a wide open space for dads and daughters to create their own unique experiences.

I knew our daughter was going to be in good hands.

In between four-wheeler rides, tubing, sledding, fishing, canoe rides, maybe-not-so-appropriate movies, bad jokes, You-Tube animal videos, late morning sleep-ins, McDonald's meals and visits to the neighbors, this father provides his daughter with a calm steady presence, unconditional love, respect, encouragement and a voice of reason to my maybe-a-little-overprotective motherly emotion.

Raising a child is joyful, but not easy. This dad stepped up to the challenge. Our daughter is growing into a confident, independent, capable and strong teenager. She's kind, respectful and funny.

Above all, she loves her dad.

Happy Father's Day, Bill.

Four-Wheeler Bonds: A Day in the Life Sunday by Lisa Rosendahl first appeared on lisarosendahl.com