Your Child and Situational Awareness in a Digital Age
Does your child spend most of their time on their cell phone? Do they walk around with their heads down and buried in their screens? Are they aware of their surroundings?
I saw the most bizarre thing just the other day and I had to write about it. I was leaving my home in the morning to run an errand and around this time, the kids head down the street to catch the bus. Well this day, six kids walked out of their houses at the same time and all of them had a cell phone in their hand. The bus stop is two blocks away and they never looked up. Their heads were down and their eyeballs were glued to their screens. It was the most strangest thing I have ever seen. They were like lemmings, just wandering and not paying attention to their surroundings. They kind of looked like drunk toddlers readjusting their internal GPS and trying to get to their destination.
Something like this freighters me on so many levels, but lets focus on situational awareness (SA).
You should train your children on situational awareness and it should be at the age where they are old enough to understand. When they are out of their homes, that cell phone or portable device must be put away and they must pay attention to their surroundings. Tell them to keep their head on a swivel. I heard this constantly in the military. You never know when something could go wrong. There is always something, like equipment present that could harm us, like an aircraft.
On base, I remember stories of people who didn’t pay attention while on a flight deck, and they walked into the danger zone of a jet engine. With ear plugs on and limited viewing with the safety googles, a 200 pound person has been sucked into the turbine engine and 20 pounds of hamburger comes out the other end. This has been drilled into me since my time in the service. Always be aware of your surroundings. There is always a possibility of some sort of danger around you and if you want to live longer on this planet and enjoy tomorrow, keep your head on a swivel.
If your child is not paying attention, bad things can happen. Most things are avoidable, like a driver in a car texting or on the phone, a dog at a distance that could be a potential threat, a stranger in the neighborhood, other children who may want to cause trouble, open drains or missing manhole covers, etc. And when they are at school, same thing, keep your awareness on. If they are not home, they are out in the wild.
You can’t be there all the time for them and giving them the proper training will carry on to their adulthood and will help them avoid situations that can be harmful or dangerous. Now is the best time to start their training. In the book “Way of the Concealed Carrier”, there is a situational awareness game used while walking which can be helpful in training oneself in the art of SA. Or make up your own to help train yourself in maintaining that awareness.
Be safe out there, be the responsible firearm owner and always follow the “Concealed Carry Creed”!!