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4.7 out of 5 stars
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 1999
I am a big fan of Gavin De Becker. I found "The Gift of Fear" helpful, intelligent and, often, frighteningly insightful. I have recommended it many times. That said, I am sad to report that I think it extremely misleading to present "Protecting The Gift" as a new book. Anecdotes aren't just warmed over, they're served up word for word. Whole chunks of chapters are identical to the first book, with only subjects changed to refer to parents and children rather than to adults. I rushed to buy this book and my advice is, if you have the first one, don't bother. As honorable as De Becker's mission seems to be, I'd say his editor and publisher are responsible for a pretty major consumer rip-off. Only the appendices seem new.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 1999
I read Gavin's first book, "The Gift of Fear," when it was originally published. Ever since then, I had hoped that he would write another. It must've been kismet when I had turned on "Oprah", (daytime television is not something I normally do), and there he was discussing "Protecting the Gift."This book is absolutely priceless in the information it provides. Gavin's writing style is easy to comprehend and makes for a quick read. The real life incidents cited here are often moving, but more importantly, they are examples of everyday folks who proved to be the strongest of survivors. I commend those who bravely told their stories to Mr. de Becker so that others could learn.I only wish that someone had written this book many, many decades ago, so that close friends of mine and dear family members could have protected themselves against the violence and sexual abuse that they endured for so many years. Or those around them could have noticed the tell-tale signs and intervened. But now I have a copy and when the day comes for me to be a Mother, I intend to give MY gift this important one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 1999
Those too timorous to face the subject of threats to children's safety will find genuine strength in this book. Somehow, Gavin de Becker overcame a devastatingly violent childhood to become an expert not only on accurately predicting violence, which he illustrates ingeniously, but on when and where to feel safe, and whom to trust and why. This network of safety is so much more valuable than just teaching paranoia, a big mistake in De Becker's view. The last of his 12 succinct points for safety, the warning not to let a potential abductor lure or threaten a child (or anyone) into going along to a second location more beneficial to the abductor is worth the price of the book. I'm glad I didn't miss Gavin de Becker's warm and wise insight into the roots and the prevention of violence.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 1999
As a retired federal law enforcement official and former instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia, I am familiar with Gavin De Becker and his Mosaic systems. So it should be no surprise that I rated "Protecting The Gift" at 5-stars. This one picks up right where "The Gift of Fear" left off. I was especially interested in his chapter on children at school. During my federal career I was intimately involved in training workers in how to deal with violence in the workplace. I also worked part time in youth programs and before it became popular, I was involved in helping public schools develop safety programs. Presently I am working in the "trenches" in a Northern Virginia high school as a Safety and Security Specialist. I help take the kids off the bus, I'm with them all day and I help put them on the busses at the end of the day. Gavin De Becker wrote MY book when he wrote Protecting The Gift. It is that good! It is a book that should be REQUIRED reading for all school administrators and parents. The part of the book that really gave me a "charge" came on page 21 where De Becker says "If we do all we can to protect children and invest them with a deep belief that they are safe, they will be less afraid, and thus less likely to be violent toward others." I have seen this in action. I have over 35 years as a practitioner in keeping people safe. This book by De Becker is a "a must read."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 1999
This book made me aware of just how much women ignore their own internal safety signals. I have purchased several copies to give to friends who live alone and have shared their insecurities with regard to being single women in today's violent environment. This is a must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 1999
This book has changed my entire perspective on daily living. I suggest it to any parents or even any women involved with children (I am making my mother read it as she does the majority of babysitting), I also suggest any person involved with any child at any time should read this book. If it were made to be mandatory reading I believe the crime rate would drop across the globe. I also believe the lessons in this book should be taught to children in school. "safety" should be a class as any other "math", "english" etc. out of all the lessons this would be the most valuable. Gavin writes in clear concise layman terms that don't leave you to ponder what he meant. I like the way he gives examples and walks you through each tragic event. (making them tragic helps you to remember). Starting these lessons today can greatly improve your childs future and I suggest anyone with any age child should read (my boy is 8 months old!) Definately worth every cent (and I paid $34 for it as I am in Canada!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 1999
Gavin Points out that your inner voice should not be suppresed, and I agree. All men that need a bit of insight into women and thier fears, need to read this. And all women need to read this period.
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on 2 April 2014
I'd read The Gift of Fear a while ago and found it interesting, and with the first of my children reaching the age where safety issues are starting to become relevant, I decided to see what Gavin De Becker had to say on the subject. Overall I find his approach much more useful than much of the commonly regurgitated 'stranger danger' type advice.

The first few chapters don't contain anything that isn't in The Gift of Fear, but were a reminder to me that people's access to children is often via their parents and thus the importance of me recognising the common patterns and being aware of my gut instincts.

There are then a couple of useful chapters about what to tell children to do if they are lost, the topic of talking to strangers and 'The Test of Twelve' - a list of things a child needs to know to be capable on their own. It mentions several American programs for educating children on these topics but without giving details of what they actually teach which is mildly frustrating as I'd have liked more detail.

The next two chapters are about finding substitute care. Some of this is only relevant to the US, but there are some useful questions to ask if you are interviewing baby-sitters, nannies or nurseries. These are followed by a chapter on 'Sexual Predators' which mostly reiterates previous content and has a long section on choosing a pediatrician, obviously not applicable in the UK, and a chapter on 'Children in School', which again has some useful questions to ask, but is quite US-specific much of the time (ha, I think if I went into prospective primary schools here asking about guns, they'd think I were bonkers).

We then move onto teenagers - with one chapter on girls which I imagine would be interesting if you have daughters, another on boys and a final one on teen violence both of which focus so much on guns as to not really have any relevance here.

The book ends with a chapter on domestic violence which obviously won't be of direct use for most people (but may be extremely valuable for anybody who is in that situation) and another on the US-equivalent of social services.

Overall, since I'd already read The Gift of Fear, there were only a couple of chapters that were really that useful to me plus the lists of questions to ask nurseries, schools etc. However, the book overall was still an interesting read and it was worth reading for those chapters. If you haven't read The Gift of Fear the I'd definitely recommend it. If you haven't, I'd suggest getting a copy from a library to skim through rather than buying it.
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on 12 May 1999
Gavin De Becker has done it again! The Gift of Fear, his first book, was incredible. Now with his second, De Becker establishes himself as not only a wonderful writer and storyteller, but as someone who has a major gift to give those of us who are concerned and committed to kids' safety. He imparts practical, sensible approaches to making decisions and judgments about how to keep our children safe. He empowers me when he validates the use of instinct as I'm sure he will any reader. He also inspires and moves me in his vivid and candid account of being physically abused when he was a boy. Protecting the Gift is indeed a gift. Thank you, and bless you, Gavin, for having the heart and soul to write what you know and feel. The world will be better for your commitment to all of us.
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on 13 June 1999
I read this author's last book and this one, and I read them back to back. A couple of chapters of The Gift of Fear talked about keeping children safe, but the new book is about keeping kids safe for all 16 chapters. And every chapter held my attention, taught me something new, sometimes amazed me, always reassured me. I saw the author on three different Oprah Shows, but it only took me listening to him for 5 minutes before I knew I wanted this book. My kids will be safer because of these two books, and I have recommended Protecting the Gift to everybody I know.
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