SIQ = Safety Intelligence Quotient
Should I take my family to the mall for pizza and a movie?
Psychotherapist, Educator, Consultant
There are many options today for protective devices and strategies. This writing provides information about how to raise your level of awareness, thus improve your likelihood of safety in various environments WITHOUT the benefit or use of any of these devices.
Raising the Safety Intelligence Quotient in the community makes a safer community for everyone.
Listen or read on to learn more!
Levels of Awareness is the degree to which you observe what is going on around you. Intuition and discernment are important qualities when it comes to assessing environments and determining the level of awareness warranted for the environment for you, your family and friends.
Intuition – the act of knowing or sensing without using rational processes or thought. It’s that “gut” feeling you get.
Discernment – good insight and judgment.
A Low level of awareness may be in order when you are watching a movie in the comfort of your well-secured home.
A Moderate level of awareness may be in order when in a public area which you are familiar with, but is bustling with people unknown to you.
A High level of awareness – may be in order when you are in an area which is new to you and/or is known to have a high crime rate.
Factors that warrant stepping down your level of awareness;
1. When the public environment you are in has their own safety protocol in place you can typically, but not always relax your level of awareness.
a. Airports – Because of tragic events in our history, places like this have quite high levels of security protocol. It is still an area to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, because as we know, unexpected things can still happen.
b. Indoor, high profile political events – At the presidential debates, those in attendance were able to cheer and pay their full attention to the debate because the security was extremely high. Similarly, events with a gate, guards, metal detectors and surveillance, such as concerts, sporting events, etc. are typically assumed safe to the degree that at low level of awareness will suffice.
2. When you are with others who think and act on a regular basis in a high level of awareness.
a. If you are out with a police officer friend or someone known to be keenly aware of safety issues.
b. At a parade or other event where there are police officers and fire personnel present at every corner, a low level is usually adequate.
Factors that warrant stepping up your level of awareness;
1. Malls and movie theaters - while there are security workers and protocol at malls, there are no metal detectors and typically sparse security staff not adequately trained or equipped to subdue or stop someone intent on destruction and senseless acts of crime;
2. Unfamiliar environments – always;
3. Dark areas – as in when you are walking to your car at night or traveling on foot in the city;
4. When alone or with one or more young children, particularly women, and very much so, petite women;
5. Outdoor and/or indoor informal political or religious events – those who have strong feelings against the theme of the event, AND who are intent on making a statement, raise the risk in these environments.
Highlighted times when your guard might be down;
You’ve just arrived at the Magic Kingdom. All you have on your mind is, “Where’s Cindarella!!!” or, “When are the fireworks?” You are SO excited! You’re out of your environment, having fun, usually with other adult family members, in a place where safety is assumed. Someone needs to have a watchful eye, whether for physical safety hazards, potential predators and even, sorry to say, that small percent of people intent on widespread destruction.
You’ve been running around all day doing your Christmas shopping. Your arms are full of packages, your iphone is attached to you somewhere, you are tired, the sun went down an hour ago and you are headed to your car. Even more, you might have a child tucked under your arm and/or another hanging on to your coattail. Your sites are set on just the very next objective, getting everyone and everything in the car, and in the back of your mind are all of the things you need to do when you get home. You are definitely NOT thinking about or even noticing the man sitting in the car next to yours. You might notice the group of teenagers hanging out by a car, but assume they are just interesting in themselves. Even if you have no children with you, all of the other factors might be present and your guard is down.
3. Relaxing and Enjoying Yourself
It is your best friend’s 40th birthday celebration. Most everyone has had a drink or two. You are just having fun at the restaurant or the bar. Your guard is down.
Questions to Consider When Venturing Out
1. What kind of environment am I going to be in?
2. Who will be there?
3. What will be the emotional climate of the outing, my own and others?
4. How wrapped up in the emotion of the outing will I be?
5. Is there a safety protocol in place?
6. Do I and my companions and/or children have a safety protocol for this specific outing?
7. Where will I plan to position myself in relation to exit points and do I know where the exits are?
8. Will I be holding a lot of things or managing children, and/or will I be able to ensure that at least one of my hands are free at all times?
9. Does my car key have a panic button or will I be bringing another “panic” device that I can keep in my free hand, around my neck, around my wrist or at the very least, in my most accessible pocket?
Today’s date is December 14, 2012. A tragic crime event has occurred on this date where a young man killed his mother and then went to the school where she worked and opened fire, killing 27 people, 20 of whom were elementary age children. Last week, a gunman opened fire in a mall, shooting 2 and injuring one. In November, the church I called home was consumed by fire in a matter of a few hours by an arsonist. In October, three were killed in a spa. In September, a former employee killed five people where he had worked. In August, Two people were killed and 8 wounded in a shooting outside the Empire State Building and six people were killed during a Sunday worship service at a temple. In July, a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 when he opened fire at a movie theater. In April, a gunman killed seven people and wounded three at a Christian college.
These incidents are completely overwhelming and almost too difficult to comprehend. These are only the highlighted, prime-time news events. There have been countless other crimes of personal victimization in our towns and communities around the nation.
What is one to do? What are parents to do? Should we drop our children off at the mall, send them to school, attend our Sunday worship service? Should we be shivering and shaking in fear over where the next crime will take place and if it will directly impact me or my family? For goodness sake, should we go out for pizza or is it better to order in?
These are very personal decisions that each and every adult will need to make and that those who care for children will need to make on behalf of their children. The purpose of evaluating Levels of Awareness is so that each of us, and we together as a community can do the best job possible in minimizing the chances that we will be a victim of crime.
As each of us raises our level of awareness, our SIQ, our entire community becomes a safer place to be and fosters a greater closeness in the community.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Authorized Facilitator Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children
Certified Instructor, Refuse to be a victim by the NRA
Certified Rape Crisis Counselor
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
You may have noticed some changes lately around here on Cape Cod Moms! We spent some time this summer rebranding and creating a new logo that we felt would better represent our community. We enlisted the help of the New England Reprographics team in Yarmouth to help us achieve our vision. And did they deliver or what?!?!! We are absolutely LOVING the new logo and by the extraordinary amounts of feedback we have already received, we see you do as well! (We HIGHLY recommend using New England Reprographics for all your graphic and printing needs. They are extremely professional, talented and truly deliver amazing products-tell them we sent you!!!!)
In order to celebrate the new logo we have decided that a giveaway is definitely in order! We want to thank all of our friends, supporters and fans for being so amazing and supportive for the past several years and sticking with us! Because of all of you we are able to grow and bring you the resources and things you need! Plus now that we have a new logo it means we also have merchandise with our logo on it!
For our New Logo Giveaway we have decided that 5 lucky winners will receive a Cape Cod Moms Tote Bag with awesome additional Cape Cod Moms merchandise inside as well as additional gifts from BumBoosa and Bzzyfingers (Whale Bzzybands) included in the bag as well! We have kept it SUPER SIMPLE for this giveaway.
To enter, you MUST share our logo online along with a reason why you LOVE the Cape Cod Moms Blog! You can share the logo picture on ANY form of social media you choose along with a brief sentence on why you love the blog. You get 1 entry per each different share/reason (but you will only be able to submit the link here ONCE a day).
For example share our new logo on your Facebook with a reason why you love us, then share it on Instagram with a 2nd reason why you love us and get a second entry! The next day you could share it on Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or even Facebook again with another reason why you love us and get another entry! The contest is open for 19 days which means you could get 19 entries into the contest! You MUST provide us with a link below in the giveaway app to where we can view your share to verify each of your entries.
We will announce all our winners on Thursday October 16, 2014! Thanks for entering, thank you for your continued support and good luck!
By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
The new school year means new challenges for children as they move into a new grade with potentially new classmates and teachers. This may also mean new challenges – particularly involving social interactions with peers. Navigating the social world can be a difficult task for children to master. Learning how to make friends, participating in conversation and following the unwritten “social rules” of the world may be difficult for some children. Your child may just need to figure out how handle these situations on his own. However, if you note red flags in several areas listed below, your child may be having trouble with pragmatic (social) language.
Pragmatics involves three major communication skills:
Information gathered from The American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Visit their website at www.asha.org
To schedule a screening or assessment please contact Golden Speech Therapy today.
Golden Speech Therapy
Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
By: Tina Toran
Free Play & Learn groups in Falmouth begin this week. Have you checked on the Coalition for Children’s website? Have you signed up for a registered group? Do you know when and where all the drop-ins are? If not, maybe you need a couple of reasons to participate. How about 10?
Ten Reasons to Join a Playgroup*
1. Variety makes life spicy. Wake up. Feed baby. Change diapers. Look at dirty house. Ignore house. Feed baby. Change diaper. Put baby down for a nap. Baby cries. Feed baby…. There is nothing more glorious than bringing your baby home, but after a week or two, the sameness of the routine may become stressful. Playgroups provide a reason to get dressed (although very few have dress codes) and add structure to your days.
2. Friends make the world go round. The size of your group is space dependant, but most groups usually consist of at least seven or eight parents. Before you even put your child down, you have a whole room full of potential mom and dad friends. No ice breakers are necessary, you all have at least one thing in common, and adult conversation is just a new friend away!
3. Avoid isolation. Ping ponging, after-baby hormones can be destructive, and isolation can exacerbate the baby blues or maternal depression. If getting out of the house is the last thing you want to do, then it’s the first thing you probably should do. Getting out and meeting others can be a great way to assess your own health and well being. It’s also a great place to say, “you know, I think I need a little help.” Your new friends can, and will, listen with empathy: this is your choir.
4. Find your little Twyla. Playgroups differ according to age group, developmental appropriateness, and focus. The Coalition for Children offers free Lap Babies Groups, Mixed Age Playgroups, Tots ‘n Tales, Movement and Creative Music, and Intergenerational Groups. While their content is different, all of the songs, finger plays, dances, books, and the crafts are designed to provide the children with a variety of stimulating experiences.
5. Slow down, you move too fast. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I wish I could remove some hours from my day?” No, probably not. Everyone is always trying to fit more in, do more, add more. Playgroups are a place to relax, make friends and bond with your children. When you are holding your baby and singing or reading a book with your toddlers, you’re giving your child(ren) the message that this time is important, and you are important.
6. Social emotional learning is a Pre-K activity. Children do not come out of the womb with shiny social skills; these empty little vessels need to be taught how to do everything. While the work begins at home, playgroups are a great place to introduce and/or practice skills like how to treat friends, share, follow directions, gain independence, take turns, and deal with difficult situations. Consider playgroups as another school readiness exercise.
7. But she bit her best friend! Most community run playgroups are led by experienced leaders with child development experience. Many have folders and fliers with information about everything from toilet training and developmental delays, to eating issues – and of course, biting. If you have questions, please ask. If the leader does not have an answer, they will look for resources and bring them to the next meeting.
8. You are a life saver. Since Air Station Cape Cod is right in the middle of our attachment area, I’ve spoken to recently relocated families who have no familial supports: they know no one. One woman from the base called our office and asked for a baby sitter. She needed to go to the doctor and had no one to ask. Not one person. With time and attendance, trust builds and parents begin to reach out to each other. Many develop childcare friendships, which in any economy, including this one, is a definite mothers little helper.
9. What does your village look like? If it takes a village to raise strong, socially adept, and confident children (and parents) the earlier you make the connections, the stronger the foundation will be. Playgroups are the fertile ground from which spring literacy habits, parent and child together bonding, and life long friendships. If you are an adult with children ages birth to school age, we have a group for you. If you’re a visitor to our area and you don’t have access where you are, you might consider starting a group of your own.
10. Finding local support. If you are new to the area, or you are new to parenting and you need information about local resources – what do you do? If you live in Falmouth, you call us, THE COALITION FOR CHILDREN. We are a parent support and education program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. We offer free workshops, free parenting classes, free childcare resource guides, and free playgroups! Groups will begin the week of September 15th, 2014. For more information call (508) 548 0151 x 172. You can also check our website: http://www.thecoalitionforchildren.org.
Tina Toran is the co-coordinator of The Coalition for Children.The Coalition for Children is a grant funded, education and support program for parents and early childhood educators with children from birth to school age. We offer play and learn groups, workshops, parenting classes, developmental screenings, an emergency childcare fund, community events and links to local childcare providers: anything we can do to create a strong foundation for our children, our families, our providers, our community. All classes are FREE
Below is the Fall Playgroup Schedule. If you wish to register visit their webiste: http://www.thecoalitionforchildren.org/fall-2014-schedule.html
Join Harbor Community Health Center in Hyannis for a Healthy Harvest Celebration next Saturday! There will be giveaways, fun activities, dental screenings and more! Hope to see you all there!
By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
By now, almost everyone has started back to school! It’s such an exciting time and as parents we want our children to tell us every little detail. However, our excited, “so… tell me about your day!” questions are usually met with a lot of, “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember” answers. Even if your child doesn’t have any difficulties with language, it can be hard to get them to spill the beans about their day! Here are some tips and tricks for getting a dialogue going with your child about his/her day at school.
· Avoid using open-ended statements like, “Tell me about your day.” Instead ask specific questions like “did you have gym today?” “what game did you play in gym?” or “what book did you read at circle time?”
· Know about your child’s school day so it is easier to ask specific questions. If you need to know what your child’s daily/weekly class schedule looks like, just ask the teacher!
· If you have a younger child that you drop off/pick up in the classroom, look around the classroom to see what they are working on. Use what you see in the classroom to come up with some questions to ask. “I saw that there were some books and a poem about fall in your classroom – did you learn about fall today? What did you learn?”
· Start a nightly tradition of asking the same question every night at dinner. For example “tell your high moment of the day and your low moment of the day” or “tell one thing that made you happy today and one thing that made you mad”. By asking the same questions every night your child will know what to expect and may start thinking about his/her answers earlier. Also, by including everyone at the table in the question-answering, it can provide good models for your child to learn how to answer.
Whatever strategies you use, I hope you are able to generate some good conversation and language about your child’s time at school! Good luck and happy back-to-school!
To schedule a screening or assessment please contact Golden Speech Therapy today.
Golden Speech Therapy
Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
See Boston like you never have on this 2 hour sail aboard the Adirondack III, a wooden 80-foot pilot schooner. Within five minutes of leaving the dock, you'll forget the mayhem and noise of the City, and you'll feel the relaxing breeze of Boston Harbor! Give your child an experience that is safe, fun and unique! Join us for a Day Sail! What better way to end the summer post tourist season with a relaxing sail that will be fun and educational for the whole family! Plus it is only a short drive from Cape Cod!
Cape Cod Mommies Readers received $10 off - Join us for a Day Sail aboard Schooner Adirondack III. Use online promo code FAMILY10 and receive $10 off each ticket you purchase!
Hood Cream Presents the 2nd Annual Cape Cod Food Truck Festival
featuring Green Mountain Gringo Salsa
Food Trucks, music, Etsy artisans, and more coming to Cape Cod
Fairgrounds September 6th
Food Truck Festivals of New England is pleased to
announce the Cape Cod Food Truck Festival presented by Hood Cream and
featuring Green Mountain Gringo Salsa at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds on
Saturday, September 6th. The festival will bring together food truck
favorites, live music, beer and wine, sampling tents, a crafts market,
and more! The festival will run from 11am-4pm and will feature over 20
of New England's most popular food trucks serving up a variety of fan
favorites, including fresh lobster rolls, juicy burgers, BBQ, local
ice cream, Mexican favorites, cupcakes, and more.
The festival features 20 gourmet food trucks from Cape Cod, Boston and the South Shore, and plenty of great food for everyone from lobster rolls to BBQ ribs to pasta, chicken wings and tacos. Janet Prensky of Food Truck Festivals of New England says, "There's so much to see and experience at a food truck festival, and Cape Cod residents will love all the live music, entertainment, a beer tent, and more... it's a gastronomic extravaganza! Come bring your friends and family to the biggest and best food truck festival on the Cape this Saturday from 11 to 4 pm at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds."
Prensky continued, "Kids will love the burgers from Boston's Baddest Burger, the hot dogs from Trolley Dogs and wait until they see the size of Frozen Hoagies' homemade ice cream sandwiches! Since Hood Cream is the title sponsor, the Hood Cream booth will feature free coffee and cream, and a fun photo booth and prize wheel. Green Mountain Gringo will be doling out free salsa and chips. And if parents need a moment for themselves, there's always the popular beer tent."
Participating trucks include:
Big Daddy's Chef on Fire (Wareham, Mass. - a brand new food truck and
first time at the festival)
Chanterelle to Go
Cape Cod Cannoli (Rochester, Mass.) - great interview!
Compliments Food Truck
Jamaica Mi Hungry
M&M BBQ Ribs
Munchies Food Truck
The Happy Taco
The Latin Spoon
The Local Scoop (Orleans, Mass.) - first FTFNE festival
The Cape Cod Fairgrounds are located at 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway in
East Falmouth, Mass. Parking is available on-site.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased either online through Eventbrite
or day of for cash only. Children under 12 are admitted for free. ATMs
will be available on-site.
For more information please visit www.foodtruckfestivalsofne.com or
Food Truck Festivals of New England (FTFNE) and Food Trucks 2 Go were
founded in 2011 to bring food trucks from all over the New England
region to cities, towns, and fans that don't yet have a daily food
truck community and to provide a matchmaking service for those looking
to book food trucks and the trucks themselves. FTFNE is New England's
original and only touring food truck events company and remains
committed to producing events that feature the highest quality and
most creative menus from a broad range of mobile food kitchens and chefs.
Cape Cod Moms