A Home Invasion Plan for Children

Home Safety Plan, Emergency Escape Plan, Home Invasion Plan… Code Blue, as they call it at my children’s school, which makes me shudder at the thought of even having to go there.  And we are there right now, as there was a home invasion nearby, resulting in the slaying of half a family- and the killer is still out there (or here.) Even going out in the yard to push my son on the swing left me frozen in fear, as I did not have a line of sight to the unlocked door.

The big struggle for us is how to come up with a home invasion plan for our children that doesn’t scare the wits out of them. They do not know what went down around here. And I don’t plan to tell them. I, for one, spent months wide awake in fear at age ten simply because my parents installed a home security system. After all, there had to be a reason to need it, right?! Little imaginations can be tremendous.

Our current home invasion plan, aside from “defending the castle” with no hesitations, is to tell the children that if they hear any loud noise at night, they are to stay put and silent until we come or call to them. They don’t need to leave their bedrooms to walk into a violent scene out of curiosity. If they can, they are to quietly slip under the bed (closet doors are too squeaky/bangy.)

If we have an invasion during the day (which has also been happening in the area) or if the opportunity arises at night, I plan to use a code word that instructs them to run to a designated closet that has a lock, and a separate code word for them to run to a designated place outside the home. The location will depend on how and where in the house the situation is taking place. I wish we also had a built in bench set with a flip-lid- this would be ideal for at least a small child. I do plan to look for other potential hiding spots and have them practice using them during games of hide-and-seek.

Of course, we will also be teaching when and how to dial 9-1-1, and about not unlocking or opening the door for someone unless instructed to by one of us, not giving out personal information over the phone or internet, and not conversing with strangers unless we have given them the OK. Teaching them to remain calm with breathing techniques and prayer is also on the agenda. Now, if we can just keep their imaginations at bay, and move on with enjoying the blessings of each day.

“For I am the Lord your God who holds your right hand, and who says to you, do not be afraid. I will help you.”
Isaiah 41:13 NLV

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.”
John 14:27 NLT

Please do share in the comments your thoughts and tips on preparing children for home invasions.

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2 Replies to “A Home Invasion Plan for Children”

  1. If you want to make them a LOT safer, have a compartment built into their closets, or have a cabinet maker build a book/toy shelf with a hidden compartment where it will appear invisible when standing there looking right at it. With carpet on the floor, and even a small flashlight and a pillow, it makes a perfect place for a person to hide from all but the most thorough and professional searches. Well worth the effort, and the cost, it being far better to have something like this and not need it than to need it and not have it. Kids love to have a secret place to hide (and read). We have one that leads under the house, and another upstairs in one of the bedrooms. Need a couple more.

  2. Although I agree with the sentiment of training children for emergencies, and assuaging their fears, I am hesitant to train them to hide anywhere. Children hide when they are scared, and that includes during a fire (or fire alarm). As a former volunteer firefighter, I have forbidden them from hiding when they are scared, and taught them to call out for help or assistance. Exit drills and meeting places (outside the home) are important in fire safety training; perhaps they could be used similarly for home invasions – if the children are properly trained and the exits are easily used. I don’t know – it’s a really tough situation. I’m not a security expert by any means, just “thinking out loud.”

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