Here in Florida, school started back up two weeks ago. As September draws closer, many more families will start to close out their Summer holidays and switch gears into a new school year.
Over the next few weeks, Tactical Tuesdays will focus specifically on families and how you can begin to incorporate certain concepts into everyday life.
There are several small but impactful drills you can practice with your children to help improve their situational awareness, positioning, and communication.
Here are some quick tips and tricks:
1. “Hand on the Car.” Have your child place their hand on the car while you’re opening doors, moving the shopping cart into position, or grabbing something out of the back. There are magnets out there you can use as a visual, or you can direct them to place their hand on the fuel cap door. By placing their hand on the car, you’re giving their mind and body a job to do therefore keeping them occupied for a few seconds while you prepare yourself to better assist them.
2. “Six o’clock. “ Or 12 o’clock or however complicated you want to make it depending on their age and ability to understand positions on a clock. With young children it’s easiest to teach 6 o’clock is behind them and utilize a quick “eyes up” command to have them keep their focus ahead. It is a lot more discreet to quickly mutter “six” to your son or daughter and have them understand they need to up their situational awareness and move closer to you the than to shout “hey honey, there’s a creepy man behind you and you need to come over here quickly!” Not only are you avoiding the awkwardness of saying that out loud in public, but you’re giving yourself the tactical advantage of moving into a better position without giving away knowledge to the potential threat that you’ve noticed him.
3. “Quick like a rabbit!” This is a go to for many families. Simply put, it means get over here fast, but is said in a calm and gentle tone of voice. Children tend to respond a lot better and faster to something they pair with play. This statement should be practiced and used in everyday scenarios to keep your children closer to you vs lingering behind or to get them to move faster when they want to lull behind. In a emergency situation, instead of yelling at a child to run as fast as they can, you can use this phrase and they immediately know what to do and how to act without instilling fear or panic into them which could cause further delays. If you can keep a cool head under stress and relay instructions to your children in a manner they understand, you have a better chance of keeping them calm and getting them to be obedient in life or death situations. This takes practice and is why you should use it every day.
4. “Quiet as a mouse.” Along the same thinking as quick like a rabbit, quiet as a mouse relays a command to a child in a way in which they want to obey. Have you ever told a 2.5 year old to be quiet? Even better, have you ever tried to play hide and seek with a 2.5 year old? They give themselves away because they are giggling behind a curtain or laying on the couch with their hands over their eyes shouting “you can’t find me!”. They have an incredibly hard time understanding what it means to be and stay quiet. When approached this way, a child pretends to be a mouse and acts very quiet and small. Their mind and their body has a job and they are ready to obey another action or narrow their focus in on your next task because they are already quiet and still.
5. “On my tail.” This movement directs a child to move into position right behind you and stay close to, or to hold onto your belt/waistline/tail. This is the foundation for defensive stacking. We will go more into depth about this subject next week.
What are you waiting for? Get on out there and start practicing with family!