Danger-Spotter Plus

Danger-Spotter Plus

Want a quick way to empower timid or worried children?

In a conversation where I was pointing out a friend’s son’s ability to spot danger, he came up with the title “danger-spotter!” Worried kids love discovering that they have this hidden STRENGTH. They take pride in their danger-spotting abilities, and no longer consider being cautious or careful a weakness.

However, I recently saw the other side. I was playing with a four-year-old danger-spotter outside, standing close by while she climbed on a tree that was growing slanted at a very low angle to the ground. After a few minutes, we heard the tree groan and saw branches begin to snap, so I quickly lifted her off and set her down just as the tree settled onto the ground.

Though she was never really in danger, she thought so and was noticeably shaken because she hadn’t seen it coming. Trees aren’t supposed to fall down, especially one in your yard that you’ve climbed on your whole life!

Danger-spotters who depend on the ability to spot and avoid dangerous situations can often be quite unnerved when they find themselves in one. Unpredictable events like sudden noises or even minor spills can cause a deer-in-the-headlights response.

So if your child grabs onto “danger-spotter” like a lifesaver, remember to add the second STRENGTH they need to handle the other side — the ability to keep yourself safe.

Here’s how to do both in the case of this little girl:

SAY WHAT YOU SEE: “You spotted that danger!”


STRENGTH: “You are a danger-spotter!”


SAY WHAT YOU SEE: “And, when that surprised you, you jumped back from it and watched from a distance.”


STRENGTH: “You know how to keep yourself safe!


(Other STRENGTHs: observant, aware, react well, handle things, etc.)


Do you have a danger-spotter in your home? Give this a try, and let me know what your child says.


SAY WHAT YOU SEE and STRENGTHs are two of the three simple steps I describe in my little handbook, SAY WHAT YOU SEE. You can buy your own copy or read it free online here.

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