How do you really know… What they would do.
They found a gun.
They didn’t touch it.
They told an adult.
They did what they should have done.
Then they went back to coloring, eating candy and they never even realized anything had happened.
The sweet innocence of a kindergartener who had no idea the gravity of the situation that just occurred.
I had the opportunity to film with Dateline NBC for a “My Kids Would Never” segment in Tampa, Florida at USF in late March.
I was very honest. Our family hunts. We have guns in our home. We have them locked up. Kids are never unsupervised when hunting on our property. But had we ever had a “what would you do of you found a gun” talk. No. Sadly, many of us either think our kids would know or just have never had the talk with kids.
The show (linked here) was a complete eye opener. I left the taping feeling very emotional and very fortunate that this was a test. It wasn’t real. But some families don’t get that trial run. No one want any child to have a gun. But at the same time, NOW my eyes are wide open. My children are safe. I will educate all my kids about what to do if they should ever find a gun. Education is the key. I kept telling myself that this was pretend, but what my conscious couldn’t get over was the lingering question…what if it WASN’T pretend?
Watch the segment now if you didn’t see it live on June 21, 2015.
So Shelby and her friend ran and got an adult. Proud Mama!!!
Here are my post show feelings…I was drained. I was emotionally exhausted. It was scary. I was relieved when it was over. I didn’t know what she would do. She didn’t touch it. She also didn’t run to get a parent right away. Her friend reminded her of what to do. They went together. They got an adult. She was nervous. She had no clue what was happening.
But she still remembers what she was taught. Stop. Run. Find an adult. I hope she remembers it forever. I hope she is never in a situation like this.
After filming, we went to a birthday party.
It was a fabulous five year old party with pretty dresses, make up, dancing, and cake.
I watched my daughter play, laugh, smile. I watched her enjoy life like every five year old should be enjoying like.
But…It could have been different. I could have been real. It could have been a real gun. It could have been a different outcome. They might not have known what to do. We might have never made it to that party. Our lived could have been changed in one moment forever. And the question I would have asked myself, is could I have prevented it? Could I have taught her something that might have helped save her life? I’m not even going to think about what could have happened. Because I know now there IS something we all can do to help prevent gun violence in the youth of America.
Teach. Hope. Pray.
She’s 5. She’s innocent. She will learn the dangers of the cruel world another day. And I hope I have armed her with the knowledge to make the right decision when something does happen.
Notes from the show:
To learn more about the teaching that Dr. Ray showed Shelby and the kids watch here. He believes you can start as early as four. Shelby is featured in the video with Dr.Ray. The research shows that the “talk only training” doesn’t work. Shelby participated in the behavioral skills training.
Gun Safety For Young Kids video via Dateline NBC
5 Things To Do When Teaching Your Kids Gun Safety These tips provided by Dr. Raymond G. Miltenberger, Director Applied Behavior Analysis Program at the University of South Florida.
After watching the episode live, I did learn more about the Brooklynn Mae Mohler who was 13 years old when her friend accidentally shot and killed her while playing with a gun two years ago. Brooklynn’s parents have set up a foundation to help prevent accidental gun deaths.
To learn more about the foundation click here.
Prevention with education is key. Gun accidents can be prevented. Did you ask if the parents have guns that are locked up and secured? Will you now?
I love the series ‘My Kid Would Never Do That’ because I think that they are amazing conversation starters for parents. So many topics to choose from, you can watch them all online.
See what the producers have to say about the ‘My Kid Would Never Do That’ series any the bloggers and experts they choose.