Thanks for your blog, and book.
You've mentioned you have small children. How do they protect themselves? Or, how do you teach them to protect themselves Do they become victims of the same kind of violence mounted against adults? Your book portrays a country that is unsafe - yet surely your kids must travel to and from school?
My children are aged 8 and under - how do you possibly prepare a child for what's ahead? They aren't getting a glock for christmas ;)
Hi Christine. Yes, I have two boys. One is seven and the other one just turned 1 year old.
We do our best to protect them and we’ve got things organized in such a way that we minimize risk as much as possible.
Kids are victims just like adults. There’s no criminal code anymore, they shoot and hurt little children just as well, a mother with a child is an easy victim. My wife herself, she was taken hostage when very little during a home robbery, they put a gun to her head.
We don’t go to places that are not that safe, we don’t go out at night with them, try to avoid doing so ourselves too. School is just a block away.
Of course this isn’t much of a life, and few people are this paranoid about security but we are, mostly because we don’t see this situation of ours as permanent and hope to move soon, so we don’t want to get sloppy when we are closest to leaving the country.
How do we prepare them? Well, we bring them up tough. A minimum amount of whining is tolerated, I encourage my son to fight and teach him to do so, he’s got to solve problems himself, even at school.
When playing I teach him how to punch, kick, step on the foot and hit with the head when grabbed from behind, among others. You can play and teach them as well.
He goes to a good private school, bilingual, but even there, schools here are a bit different to what Americans are used to. He has to learn to defend himself since teachers rarely do anything about bullies and such. There’s even a boy in his class that brings a knife to school and threatens classmates with it, yet no one does anything about it. Such a thing, if reported in USA, would have the boy most likely expelled or at least the knife taken away from him, but here that’s not the case.
A few weeks ago for example, a bully grabbed my son and wouldn’t let go. My son kneed him in the groin and punched him in the face. Since we “play” fight ever day, he punches real good. The boy dropped to the floor and stayed there, crying.
That day we received a note from school saying that Tommy kicked a boy in the testicles and punched him in the face, and that we should talk with him about it. Well, I did, and congratulated him for defending himself when he explained to me what happened.
In more normal schools, in a serious country, I’d tell him to go talk to the teacher if he has a problem with a classmate, but here they have to learn to fend for themselves.
He’s a good boy, a bit too quick to solve problems with his little fists, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We went shooting for the first time a couple weeks ago. He shot for the first time with a real gun, a 22LR. Of course, I was behind him at all times.I used to walk to school and back home when I was a bit older than my son is right now, walked the two blocks. But times have changed and its no longer safe. Some parents don’t care, but we do, and I know its not the same anymore.