Teaching families safety, survival skills.
Ashley Glinka is a pretty cool mom to twins and a 6-year-old, but she also is a former Federal Air Marshall who flew overseas anti-terrorism missions. Those experiences led her to create The Child & Parent Empowerment Program.
The program is a two-hour class for parents, teachers and coaches that includes both the parent and child so they can learn to work together. “The classes cover situational awareness skills, mindset, and how to teach kids to use that empowerment mindset to protect themselves,” Glinka explained. “Our additional classes also work with self-defense for families and different techniques for younger children.”
Before she earned the title “mom,” Glinka was a federal agent traveling internationally, working covertly as a Federal Air Marshal. She explains that role made her confident in her ability to protect herself and others. When she became a mom, however, she realized how vulnerable parents are with their most precious assets.
“I was an avid babywearer, and soon our family was blessed with twins, so I had 3 under three! My hands were literally full, and as I went about my day-to-day life, I would constantly be running through “what if” scenarios and how I could incorporate the years of training and experience (in self defense that) I had to be most effective for my family,” Glinka explained.
As her children grew, Glinka and her husband began to teach them about safety, including awareness of their surroundings, basic self-defense and empowerment skills.
“Through all of this I’ve been talking with other moms and giving them advice on how they could teach their children and suddenly, The Child & Parent Empowerment Program was born.”
“We all want to think that our family will never find themselves in a situation that could endanger them, but the truth is, the majority of us have already been in that situation,” Glinka said. “As a mother of young children, I want my daughters and my son to grow up being aware of what’s happening around them. I want them to be aware but not afraid. I want them to have confidence to raise their voice and yell “stop,” to know it’s okay to leave a situation and to be empowered by that knowledge and not fearful of the unknown.”
The classes teach parents to have age-appropriate conversations with children about safety. They also help families create safety plans while giving families tools to help navigate potential dangers in the world.
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