The Center for Disease Control stated that a record 100,000 people died from 2020 to 2021 from Fentanyl overdoses. In addition, in the first six months of 2021, children’s hospitals nationwide reported a “shocking” 45% increase in the number of self-injury and suicide cases in 5- to 17-year-olds compared to the same period in 2019. (Children’s Hospital Association)
Of course, children must learn to read and write, but that should not be a parent’s only priority. Young children need to know how to stay emotionally “centered” and learn to live by their self-protective conscience to stay safe on a computer, iPhone, at home, at school, and in neighborhoods. When adults guide children, they will make good choices and notbecome self-destructive.
If American youth don’t feel strong and confident, they often struggle in school and become victims or bullies. They may escape into drugs, become angry, violent, follow the crowd, or commit suicide.
Our cities are full of homeless people who never learned how to handle their emotions which put them at risk of engaging in destructive behaviors.
Working with the homeless and starting support groups, I met educated people who never learned how to become self-confident and resilient. It is up to adults to help children develop healthy relationships and life skills to stay safe.
On average, 1.2 million children drop out of high school every year. Twenty-five percent of first-year students do not graduate from high school. Youth drop out for various reasons, including bullying, drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and the inability to concentrate. If adults neglect to empower youth, they often fail to develop the emotional tools to resist destructive behaviors or develop the 3C’s, Courage, Character, and a self-protective Conscience that can protect them.
An enlightened, centered child who possesses the tools to stay safe can be successful with or without a high school diploma. Drugs and other destructive behaviors will not interest them. Poverty will not hold them down. They can rise above and will not follow the crowd. It is up to adults to activate children’s inner power, so they know how to discover their identities! Freedom is an inner journey of self-discovery.
A half an hour a week discussing self-protective safety can empower a child. Children need to know the danger of keeping secrets, how to make the “maturity flip” from a selfish child to a caring teen, and how to use their intuition and instincts. They will see a new perspective as they discover strength through pain and handle frustration, social isolation, abuse, and anger.
Never underestimate a teenager who knows how to use their inner power. Self-awareness gives youth self-confidence, self-discipline, and self-motivation to keep them safe and healthy as they discover their path to success.
Stephanie L. Mann, Child Safety Consultant
Author: “Empowerment Parenting: How to raise resilient children who become happy, self-reliant adults.”