Daily Habits

Daily Habits

Some of the favorite things I teach in my classes are daily habits to build your awareness. You have the ability to be more aware of your surroundings already and it doesn’t require any money, anyone else helping you or any fancy training. Because all you have to do is start practicing.

The A-Game

This is a game you can play in your head, with your friends and even with kids! At an event-say a meeting or going to the park-try and see how many of the following questions you can answer.

  • What is the general mood of the place?
  • What is one thing that sticks out to you?
  • What is the normal activity you would expect to see here?
  • What would cause someone or something to stand out?

At first, you might feel like you are constantly scanning and staring at people, but eventually it will become second nature.

Our friend Andy, over at The Secure Dad podcast, shared a game he plays with his kids when they go out to eat. He calls his game, “Count the doors”. Andy asks them to count the doors in the restaurant. This helps keep them busy, works on their counting skills, and subconsciously helps them realize there are multiple options for getting out of the restaurant.

Master Memorization

A great skillset to build with the A-game is mastering your memorization. After you’ve left an event or place, see how many details you or others can recall.

  • How many people were there?
  • If you interacted with anyone, what was their mood?
  • How did they respond to you?

You can play this game immediately after you’ve left somewhere or at the end of the day. Whenever you have a moment. As you build this skill, you will find it easier and easier to recall details from events that happened not only earlier in the day, but even earlier in the week or month!

One Thing

You’ve probably heard that eyewitness accounts are not always reliable. Two people can be looking at the same thing and come away with very different impressions and memories. That’s why I recommend picking ONE THING to remember about people. What is the first thing you notice about someone when you meet them?

  • Their haircut or style
  • A tattoo
  • A piece of jewelry such as earrings, a bracelet or a watch

Practice noticing that ONE thing with everyone you meet. Even if you’ve known someone your whole life, what is the first thing that stands out to you?

Now-don’t try to do all these exercises at once! You may end up feeling overwhelmed or look like a suspicious person yourself because you’re staring at everyone. Pick one habit to work on every day and soon you won’t even realize you’re consciously practicing it.

The best part? You’ll start being more present in your daily life and your personal relationships will benefit.


 “Forget perfect on the first try. In the face of frustration, your best tool is a few deep breaths, and remembering that you can do anything once you’ve practiced two hundred times.”

― Miriam Peskowitz, The Daring Book for Girls

Situational Awareness & Kids

Situational Awareness & Kids

How do I talk to my kids about being more aware?


What’s one of the biggest complaints of parents? Kids never listen! Especially at a store or in a crowded area, kids have the natural desire to explore. They don’t have the maturity to be aware of a dangerous situation or person.  

More then likely, you were told as a child to “never talk to strangers”. You’ve probably repeated this message to your own kids. But here’s the thing- someday, your child is going to have to talk to a stranger.

For example, it’s so easy for your child to wander off and when they realize you’re no longer in their sights, they may panic. If you haven’t taught them what to do and how to ask for help, they might not make the safest decisions. Pick a meeting spot in case they get separated from you (such as the coffee shop in the store) or tell them to find a woman.

Yes-tell them specifically to find a woman.

Here’s why-traditionally, women are caregivers and whether or not they have their own kids, women are far more likely to help a child with whatever they need and see it through until the end. Also, statistically speaking, women are less likely to be sexual predators. It’s better to teach kids WHICH stranger to ask for help and HOW to ask for help.

  • Between the ages of 4-6: Start talking about strangers.
    • This is the time most kids are starting school and interacting with many adults they don’t know. A great question to start with is, “do you know what a stranger is?” If they aren’t sure, let them know a stranger is someone they don’t know. It’s that simple. Go through a list of people they know and then list people they don’t know to help show them the difference.
    • It’s important not to scare them though, remind them that a stranger is not necessarily a good person or a bad person, a stranger is someone they don’t know.
  • Between the ages of 7-10: Have them practice asking a stranger a question while you are close by.
    • Start with something simple. Have the child pick a stranger to go up to and ask what time it is. Again-you are close enough to overhear the conversation but far enough away that the child won’t look to you to ask the question.
    • After this exercise, ask them why they picked that particular stranger to ask their question. Ask them how the stranger reacted (were they annoyed or helpful?). 
    • This is a great way to learn about their intuition (why they picked the stranger they picked) and how receptive they are of another person’s body language (how the stranger reacted to their question).
  • Between the ages of 11-13: This is a great time to help them recognize their own intuition signals.
    • Watch them interact with other adults, such as teachers or coaches.
    • Ask them how they felt when that adult interacted with them.
    • Remember-it’s important for the child to know their feelings matter. If they tell you, “it felt uncomfortable or strange when that person stood so close to me”, don’t dismiss or downplay that feeling. Ask them to tell you more. Maybe something along the lines of “why did it make you uncomfortable?”. Kids need to feel like they can tell you anything and that you will listen.
  • Between the ages of 14-18: The years of growth and change.
    • Your kids are going to test boundaries and push for more independence at this age. You may have heard this before, but I feel it’s important to remind you- be their parent and not their friend.  
    • Give them boundaries and show them how to set their own healthy boundaries.
    • Talk to them. Ask about their friends, ask them where they’re going, ask them about their feelings. 
    • Teach them how to separate behaviors from the person displaying the behavior. For example, teach them to ask “why is this person trying to charm me?” instead of thinking “this person is charming”.

Remember, the issue isn’t strangers, it’s the behavior of strangers.

If you want to start the conversation of safety and situational awareness with kids but don’t know how, start with that. Talk to them and teach them to pay attention to strange behaviors and go from there.