I bet you remember your childhood phone number. I remember mine, all of them…921-2022, 934-9464, 491-9357. This is a level of security that children and adults took for granted when I was growing up.
Think about it. What is the last thing your mom would say before you hopped out of the car at a friend’s house or when she dropped you off at ball practice? “Call me if you need me or when it’s time for me to pick you up.”
Address and Phone Number
In Kindergarten, along with learning how to spell your name, you learned your address and phone number. Life was different then.
Today, if you were to ask the average 8-year-old what their home phone number is, what would they say? How many of them actually have home phones, true land lines? Now they need to learn at least two numbers–mom’s and dad’s cell numbers. But how many actually do?
Most can call mom or dad from a phone that has mom or dad’s name and or picture programmed in it, but they do not actually have to dial the phone number.
Not a Contact–a Phone Number
How would they be able to tell someone how to call you if they were not with you? We all have the “it would not happen to me” mentality. We would never not know where our child is and they would never not know who they were with or how to reach us, but just play along.
We drop little Suzie or Bobby off at soccer practice, and even though we have worked with them on stranger danger and situational awareness, someone caught them off guard and said all of the right things. They got into the car with them and suddenly you don’t know where they are, and they don’t know where they are.
Your lesson on how to fight and scream until they are free worked and the kidnapper drops them off 20 miles away in a town they do not recognize. What next? Can they give your phone number to the store clerk or law enforcement officer or do they just know the photo icon and how your name is in your spouse’s phone?
Let’s say you have done your part and at least taught your children your phone number but not your spouse’s or their grandparents’. You are driving along when suddenly CRASH. 911 is called and you are transported to the hospital in an ambulance unconscious, your phone destroyed in the crash. When the police officer asks Bobby for his dad’s phone number, can he provide it?
If they ever need it…
Here at Shoot Like a Girl, we take situational awareness seriously. We talk about ways we can prepare ourselves for the unknown. We talk about how to protect our families at home. But we have to educate those family members, too–especially the children.
My point is that it’s time for us to get back to the basics and give our children the tools they need to be successful. This last 18 months has brought the family together. It’s been wonderful, but as we start spreading our wings again and giving our children their freedoms, we also need to give them confidence. And for those adults who have forgotten phone numbers because cellphones have allowed us not to learn numbers, it’s time for you to rebuild that part of your brain too.
I challenge you to look at your emergency contacts and learn their phone numbers. Be able to recite them in case your phone is unavailable or inoperable.