Tuesday, May 3, 2016


As I read this advice the other day, I was made acutely aware of how valuable it is to be prepared for all adversities. I also realized that the actions I would likely have taken, are in fact the worst things to do!!!

Every parent should talk to their kids in simple terms about what to do in the case of emergencies, so let's talk about home invasions. No, we don't want to scare our kids witless, but we do need to teach them some simple and important actions that could save their lives, or yours, one day.  So, please read this and pass it on.


  1. Put in a home security system AND use it! Place security labels in full view.  Show all family
      members where the panic button is on the security system control pad.
  2. Buy equipment such as a rope ladder to escape from an upstairs window and teach your kids how
      to use them. The ladder can be used in case of fire or invasion.
  3. Ensure you have locks/slide bolts on internal doors e.g. bedrooms, inside closets.
  4. Always keep house and car keys in the same place.  Keep phones and car keys together.
  5. Ensure you have strong doors with solid side panels in your home.
  6. Always keep windows locked shut at night and if open, that they all have security latches.
  7. Keep all valuables locked in a hidden safe.  Do not talk about valuables you own to strangers.
  8. Do not broadcast on social media e.g. Face Book that you are going on vacation.
  9. If you have a bad feeling about a possible break-in, inform the police so they can create a greater
      presence in your neighborhood.
10. Create or join your 'neighborhood watch' and display signage around the street and your home.


1. Create a contingency plan for various scenarios of how and when a break-in may occur e.g.
    what to do if you are upstairs, what to do if there are other children in the house - who is
    responsible for what.
2. Practice these scenarios.  You can make it a game.  Any time, just say, I think someone is
    breaking into the house (hold your arm up as the signal that this is just a rehearsal).
3. Practice how to call 911 without actually doing it.  Tell them how to speak clearly and be able
    to state their name and address and what is happening in your house at the present time.


1. Don't make a sound.  Do not shout that you have a gun or that you have just called the police
    because you are giving your position away.
2. Do not launch an attack on your own. Trying to be gallant could get yourself and others killed.
    Shooting at the invader/s or attacking them with weapons such as a baseball bat or a taser will
    certainly incite retaliation which may not have been initially intended. Also, when the police
    arrive, they may not know who the perpetrator is or who the victim is.
3. Lock yourself in your room or in a closet and dial 911. Quietly give your name and address,
    the situation you are in, your location in the home and how many others are currently
    staying at your address.
4. Tell the operator if you hear more than one person speaking and if weapons are mentioned.
5. Do as the 911 operator tells you to do. Stay on the line with the operator as they may be able
    to tell you what to do. They will also know that if you are safe. 


If you have locked yourself in a bedroom and there is a window to climb out where you cannot
be seen, then do so as quickly and quietly as possible. Tell the operator your position so the police will not mistake you for an escaping burglar.


1. If it is possible to gather family members in the same place, lock or barricade yourselves in
    the room and tell the operator where you are in the house and how many are with you.
    If other family members are hiding in other areas of the house, then tell the operator that also.
2. If you have your car keys press the panic button so the security alarm goes off in your car. This
    will alert the neighbors.
3. Stay in your hiding place until you hear the police knock on the door and tell you it is safe to
    come out. The operator will tell you when the police have entered your house.

Source:  http://simplisafe.com/blog/what-to-do-if-youre-home-during-a-break-in



Just because someone may have grown to be over 5ft tall, it doesn't mean there is a mature brain in their head!  Physical maturity and emotional maturity can be vastly different things.


1. They feel they are accountable for their actions.
     a) They do the right thing whether anyone is looking or not.
     b) Own up to their mistakes.
     c) Endure the consequences of their mistakes without blaming anyone else.

2. They do what they say they will do.
3. They are committed and faithful.

4. They tell the truth.
5. They respect the law, all those who have authority over them, their peers and those less fortunate.

6. They are positive role models to those around them


1. We act as positive role models and, if we feel we fall short, we get help to become what we
    want our kids to be.

2.  We give them responsibility at an early age e.g. giving them chores, getting them to look
     after their own toys, watching out for their siblings, following through with parent requests and
     commitments. We gradually increase the responsibility we give them so they learn the positive
     reactions to making the right choices in life.
3. We teach them how to make good choices and walk them through their mistakes until a positive
    conclusion is reached.

4. We praise them for positive behavior rather than browbeat them when they have made a mistake.

5. We do not continually fish them out of trouble.  Sheltering them shields them from feeling the
    consequences of their actions and gives them a superior, 'entitled' attitude which does not
    lead to a happy and fulfilled life.

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families


We often hear stories of children that feel they are the cause of their parents' split.  They carry
that burden for many years until they realize otherwise - if they do at all.

     Mike’s world came crashing down when his wife decided to leave the family. He was father
to three children aged 14, 12 and 10 years old, and a physician in a very busy city ER. He  was so
busy at work, he had not spent time cultivating friendships in his off-duty time and therefore, when
his marriage broke up, he had no-one to talk to about his troubles. He wore out his work colleagues whenever he could bale them up and their sympathy was running out on him. Without anyone else
to confide in, Mike started using his children as his sounding board for pent-up frustrations. They got to hear it all: what he thought of his wife’s decision, what he thought of her as a person, how their marriage had been until their break-up and so on – and on, and on.

     What is wrong with this picture? Mike was talking to the wrong ears. He was talking about the mother they loved dearly. He was forgetting that they were grieving because they had lost their mother as well. He was talking about stuff the kids had no way of processing or dealing with. It would be like giving a lamb chop to a newborn baby !!!! Mike was putting huge amounts of stress on his children. They hated to hear him badmouthing their mother, and they also hated seeing their father in such grief and turmoil.

Mike's kids may have thought they were to blame for the break-up in some way. They may have thought they had to do something to try and stick their mother and father back together again so everything would be all right. They may have thought they needed to tell their Dad something, anything that would soothe his troubled mind. Whatever his reasoning – which I consider was totally lacking - he was telling the wrong people.

Mike's kids didn’t know what to do. He should have been seeking professional help.

What parents need to understand is this. Discussing marriage problems with one’s children is totally inappropriate because:

1) Children become party to inappropriate information they are often unable to objectively process,
    let alone have an answer to.

2) Kids are a captive audience and are less able to excuse themselves when they feel uncomfortable
     about the content of the conversation.

3) Negative things are being said about their beloved other parent.

4) They become burdened and overwhelmed by the stress of something they can do nothing about.

Parents need to shield their children from such parental tensions. They should instead seek out
adults, and where necessary, professional counseling to assist them. If children need to be brought into such discussions, then the conversation should be age-appropriate and in small enough doses that the child can assimilate it.

A parent’s responsibility is to provide a peaceful, safe and loving home for themselves and their children. A very effective way of ensuring a positive environment exists in your home is to create a set of strong family values which describes what peacefulness, safety and respect for one another looks like. If such an environment seems to be unattainable, then, for the sake of everyone, professional help should be sought and children shielded from the storm.

Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families