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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

How to Protect Your Kids When You’re Not There

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

How Can our Children be Safe without Us?

There are several questions that I get asked frequently. The first is what is the best firearm for home defense. If you want to know my answer to that question, check out episode 40 of The Secure Dad Podcast.

The second most common question I get is about how to protect your kids when you’re not around. As a dad I get it. I’ve wondered that exact same thing. But don’t worry. As with all questions we overthink, the answer is actually very simple.

The answer to how to keep your kids safe when you are not around is to model the safety behavior you want to see in your children.

Lead by Example

In other words, monkey see, monkey do. Your kids learned to walk and talk after seeing you do it. Likewise, your kids will learn how to be safer, buy seeing you do it. By educating yourself, you can pass what you’ve learned onto your kids.

Now, this also means this is not an easy answer. You can’t just buy something for your kid like a smartphone or a GPS tracker that’s going to instantly make them safe.

Also, I don’t suggest you plop your six-year-old down and tell her to read “The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.” That’s not going to go well. This isn’t a quick fix, it takes time and you have to be intentional about it. And sometimes you have to explain what’s going on in real-time and you better have the knowledge to share as it could mean keeping them from harm in the future.

Real-Time Learning

Here’s an example with me and my son from last fall. While traveling, we stopped at a nice state-owned rest area off of the interstate. We’re traveling with our dog, so my son and I took him to the pet area to sniff everything and not actually do what dogs are supposed to do in the pet area.

As we stood in the pet area an Oldsmobile sedan pulls up. A heavy-set guy in his late 20s early 30s opens the driver’s door and get’s out. Immediately he’s an anomaly because he’s not wearing a shirt.

Upon closer inspection his pants are open and you can see his underwear from 40 feet away from where we are. He’s taking his time putting his pants on and then he waddles around to another car door and puts on a shirt.

This entire time my son is, understandably, staring at this man. And I took this time to explain what’s going on… as best I could.

I told him first not to stare as the man might take offense to our reactions to his behavior. If we made him mad he might start yelling at us and start some sort of confrontation, which we don’t want.

I explained we need to watch him but not look like we’re watching him because we know he’s acting differently already and he might do some more different stuff that we need to be aware of.

Then I took the time to explain to him that what he was seeing was an anomaly. Everything normal in the rest area was the baseline, but this shirtless man stands out because he’s dressed and acting counter to what we expect to see here.

Those are the things we want our kids to understand at a basic level. We want them to know how things are supposed to look so they can spot what’s different, to know to pay more attention and make a decision based on what they see. And also not escalate the situation and minimize the chance of a confrontation.

This was a random situation happening in real-time. This wasn’t a story to be shared in front of a campfire that he might remember one day.

This was a real experience that we could learn from and I had the knowledge to share with him. He’ll remember this man and what I told him so when he sees something like that when I’m not around, he’ll know what to do and what NOT to do.

You Must be Safe so Your Kids will be Safe

One way you can make your kids safer is to increase your education. Next week I’m going to be opening my course for enrollment called UNLOCKED: Releasing Your Inner Protector Parent.

This will be a great way to learn how to better protect yourself and your family all while building a skill set that you can pass on to your kids. I’ll show you how to prevent crime from happening to you, how to protect your home, what to do to avoid threats in public, and how to secure your digital life.

And I bet those are all lessons you’d want to pass on to your kids. In fact, I talk about that specifically in this course. You won’t be taking this course just for yourself, you’ll be taking it for your family.

The main point I’m trying to make is that we need to lead by example. If we want our kids to be safe, we have to be safe.

If you don’t want your child to be in a bar fight at 2 am, then you don’t get into a bar fight at 2 am. You don’t want your kids texting and driving, then you don’t do it. Our actions as parents have a tremendous influence on our young children. It may not seem glamorous, but it works.


Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

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