Vulnerabilities of self

In an attempt to keep myself as well as my family safe, I am constantly evaluating my actions and habits to make sure I am doing everything I can to be aware, not make myself a target, proactively create distance, give myself as much time to prepare for for an unavoidable situation if that would ever (hopefully never) happen. I am sure most of this great forum do the same.

As such, I have identified my single biggest area of vulnerability and am going to throw it out to the group for ways to improve.

As you may know, I have two young boys, one 4 and one 21 months old. Both are big, strong boys. The 4yo is tall and wears size 8 clothes and the 21 month old is wearing size 3T/4T to give you an idea. Love it and they are both huge daddy’s boys, and I wouldnt have it any other way. The reason that I am bringing this up is because they are the cause of my biggest vulnerability, and that is getting them in their car seats. The 4yo isnt a big deal as he is able to climb up into the truck on his own and help buckle himself in. Its the 21 month that really creates the vulnerability as he is usually not super excited to get into his car seat, so it is me standing on the running boards of the F250 trying to keep him safe and in his seat while trying to start getting him clipped in. It sounds worse than it sounds when I explain it, BUT it does create a significant vulnerability due to the focus of my attention.

Steps I take are as follows. I pay super close attention when walking to the truck. This is to look for people that may be a potential threat, and to keep the boys safe from cars backing out, traveling too fast through a parking lot, cutting across parking lanes, etc. Anyone who has been in a parking lot knows all the other potential risks other than people that might make you take notice. When the older is getting buckled in, and I buckle him in first as he is the easiest, approaching self sufficient on that, and I like knowing he is contained and safe when buckling the younger one in. I dont have to worry about him stepping out into traffic or some other unmentionable horror in the split second i take my eyes off him. I typically stand facing him with my back to the door hinge so that the truck is at my back and I have a better view of what is going on around me. Once he is in, doors close and its good. Then I have the younger one. Requires two hands to get him in and buckled. The whole time, my back is to the world, perched on the running board. The best I can do there is as possible, I glance under my arms to look for anything that might be approaching.

What else can I do?

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Bribery… Seriously. :innocent: Bribe him to get into the seat and help. My granddaughter is a few months older and we have a dinosaur that she only gets to play with in the car seat. She’s jumping in that seat and helping putting the straps over her shoulders so she can get the dinosaur as quickly as possible.

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Haha! Bribery doesnt work with him like it did on the older one. He is starting to help. He likes to clip the plastic sternum buckle.

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This may sound too paranoid, but what about the installation of wide view mirrors on the opposite window, thus attaining eyes in the back of your head?
These days we need to think outside the box. My kids and grandkids are grown, but I still need eyes in the back of my head.
Are there any such things as portable motion sensors, like on a Fitbit watch. I know these sound outlandish, but I do like my idea of portable motion sensors that we can wear. Minority Report meets Jason Bourne meets Aliens.

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It seems to me you are doing all you can do and a good job of it. I am vulnerable when I am with my grandchildren due to the fact that I am distracted. I’m caring for them and that is my priority. At the same time I am trying to keep situational awareness. So sir I am in the same boat.

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Four door F250? Maybe put the 4yo into the truck (out of harm’s way standing in the parking lot) and have him just sit in his car seat while you get the younger one buckled-in, then take care of the older one? As a grandparent that has struggled to get toddlers into their car seats, mostly due to the straps/harness attachments and an active kid that won’t sit still, lol, I fully understand the sometimes exasperating ordeal of it.

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I would use sibling rivalry. If the 4 yo can get in and buckle up then give the 21 mo the same praise even if you need to help him up the the step. Bring both around to the 4 yo side. “Get in and buckle up.” then take the 21 mo to his side and boost him up, “Get in and buckle up like your big brother.” PROVIDING that he has the physical ability to do so. If not “Get up in your seat and I will show you how to buckle up.” When he gets it it will be a point of pride for him. NEVER forget to buckle up yourself. 21 mos will turn into 21 years before you can blink. I got my 25 year Dad pin this year, didn’t think he’d make it :confounded:

Cheers,

Craig6

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@Brian139, you’re doing a great job! Since you’ve scanned the surroundings, it’s unlikely someone can span the distance and get within bad-breath range of you quickly, at least without you hearing something.

Tough to do with young kids, but I try to park farther away, where there aren’t any cars near me. Tougher for a Bad Guy to be hiding and get the jump on me. That might afford you more time to get the young lad secured.

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I typically park in the back. I dont mind the walk, but also with getting the boys in and out, its easier when I have the room to fully open the doors, and plus the 4yo is old enough that he can open the doors himself, so there is that if a car is close by.

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If it is a F 250 it should have a decent amount of room to put the children in, close the doors behind you and ether you be in the back with them or you be in your seat and lean over to buckle them in. Then climb over the seat or get out and go to the front.

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