I discovered Kidpower 4 years ago while looking for a way to keep my preschooler safe as she began exploring the world independently. I had been hesitant to talk to her about safety because I didn't want to scare her. Kidpower gave me the tools to teach her how to be aware of her surroundings and make choices to keep herself safe. And she loved practicing the skills!
We continue to learn age appropriate skills to help her stay safe as she gets older. Thanks Kidpower!
Such a powerful message, and SO MUCH FUN! I wanted a way to talk with my 4 year old daughter about personal safety. She was getting to the age that she wasn't always near me at the park or the grocery store. I found Kidpower's articles and comic books online and began practicing role playing with her. She loved it so much that she will pull down the comics herself and ask to practice again! I hear and see her using the skills all the time. Thank you Kidpower! I will certainly use this with my son when he gets old enough to walk away!
I took each of my girls to a Kidpower workshop when they were in Elementary School (and my older daughter just attended a Teenpower workshop). These are so great; they are not scary but do help a child know exactly what to do if they are in a threatening situation. They kids actually get to practice in a strong but fun way. The email newsletters that Irene puts out addressing some tragedy that I've been following in the news are SO HELPFUL in making sure that I deal with my own fears before trying to help my kids be safe. Their free PDF articles are also very timely and helpful. I don't know of another organization like this in the whole country. It is unusual, desperately needed and workshops are free for low-income kids. It is the top non-profit that I know of.
KidPower is my go-to resource for the most thoughtful, caring and proactive approach for parenting for issues on safety and confidence. They explain everything well, give supportive reasons, and ultimately appeal to my comon sense and real-life experience. I love KidPower!
As a mother who was sexually abused when I was little, I've struggled with how to keep my son safe without scaring him or being so over protective as to stifle his growth. Fortunately, my son's school PTA arranged for Kidpower to teach a parent workshop about how to talk with kids about their safety. I left that event with the most profound sense of relief - that there was a way to keep my son safe without scaring him - and empowerment - that I could help him to be safe in ways I never was. At the parent class, I bought one of Kidpower's safety comic books and used that as a way to introduce the subject with my son. He loved the comic book and insisted on reading the whole thing in one sitting! Since the parent event, my son and I have participated in several other workshops. Even though he didn't want to go to the classes before hand, afterwards, he admitted to having fun, especially during the class where he learned the physical self-defense skills. All that I've learned through Kidpower has helped me support my son to stay aware of and, sometimes, be cautious of the world around him, but not afraid. I, of course, wish there was a guarentee that nothing bad would ever happen to him, but I know that's not possible. Instead, I've done what I can, and will continue to do, to give him the best tools I know of to deal with lifes challenges, threats, and upsets. The best tools I've found come from Kidpower.
Irene V. 10/01/2012
I was very moved by your story and so glad that Kidpower could help you. Thank you!
We were excited to take our 3-yr-old daughter to her first Starting Strong Kidpower workshop over the summer. I read the Kidpower book as part of my interests in teaching and later as a soon-to-be parent. So we had been talking about some of the ideas around stopping mean words, sharing and taking turns, etc. But then we took the class and she just blossomed. We also got the comic book and it became a favorite right away. The cartoons are understandabe even to a pre-reader. The skills are presented step by step. And her fascination with some of the stories has made things like making safety plans to avoid getting lost in the store AP much easier. She loves to practice and she loves all her various "powers" to be safe. Kidpower has made conversations about worries so much easier and interesting rather than scary for all of us. And our ability to advocate for her is so much cleaner - we have clear language for describing problems in respectful ways that other parents pick up in and start to use as well!
Irene V. 09/30/2012
Thank you for doing a review. We are so glad that Kidpower was helpful to you!
I felt bullied. Ironic. I had to attend, as the other custodial parent signed us up. This group is BEYOND crazy - so egotistical and untrained and, HONESTLY, well . . . bullies. I would like for someone, in one of these reviews, to talk about the real experience. DO NOT SIGN YOUR KIDS UP FOR THIS. I think one day one parent will sue. We need an anti-KP support group.
Irene V. 09/30/2012
One of the benefits of all adults in a child's life participating in a Kidpower workshop is that this helps to develop a shared understanding about safety. Unfortunately, if there is a negative relationship and a parent feels forced to come to a workshop under pressure by the other parent, this can backfire into a very angry reaction. If StrayedEtsy wants to provide specific feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org about exactly what else didn't work besides feeling pressured to go, we would appreciate having this information as we are always looking for ways to improve our services. If StrayedEtsy paid for a workshop and wants a refund, he or she can contact our office.
After calling them to give them feedback, my general impression is even lower than it was before. If you think a class is bad, try disagreeing with them after.
Irene V. 10/06/2011
At Kidpower, we see constructive feedback as a gift and always do our best to make things better, Unfortunately, despite what he or she has written, as far as we can figure out, T. Gustas has never called our office or even sent us a direct e-mail. We cannot address concerns without communication with people.
Someone once told me - if everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn't thinking.
Five stars, unanimously, across the board? Odd. Except for one or two reviews? Super huge clue they are having their staff write (and churn) reviews.
Bad form. While not prohibited, staff reviews are discouraged, and many of these reviewers specifically identify themselves as staff.
I attended a workshop. under pressure from other parents in my kids age range.
Total BS. Tons of common sense, with a healthy dose of fear mongering and fund raising.
Thanks for the cult induction, but I haven't sipped the Kool Aid.
They teach your kids just enough to get in trouble, but not enough to defend themselves. It's self defense - light - kind of, not effectively.
If you are impressed by their supposed "martial arts" credentials, then make sure you research their co-founder, Timothy Dunphy. He claims to be able to heal people by connecting their "chi" with their "aura" via music and light. (http://www.chiaura.com/)
If you believe that, sign your kids up for a Kidpower workshop and "believe" they are safer.
Irene V. 06/06/2011
If T.Gustus chooses to contact our organization directly, he or she will find that we appreciate feedback and always give refunds on the rare occasions that someone is not happy with a workshop. In our public workshops, we do not turn people away for lack of money - and we seek funding to reach out to people in homeless shelters and other places serving children in high-risk situations. Most of our instructors and center directors are NOT paid by Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International - they started as parents, teachers, and other caring adults -- and have volunteered countless hours and donated a tremendous amount of their own resources to be able to bring these skills to others.
Every once in a rare while, a person may be able, if they are lucky, to come across someone who is kind, extremely generous, has a lot of brains and the gumption and willpower to see something through to the very end.
Well, I was fortunate to find TWO of these people!
And they founded KIDPOWER.
I have had the pleasure of working with both of these brilliant kind hearted, selfless individuals for years.
Irene, over 7 years side by side in the KIDPOWER office and Timothy Dunphy much longer through the martial arts.
While knowing personally how miraculous KIDPOWER can and does help change lives on a daily basis through their non-profit outreach self protection program, which is unparalleled, I find it an undeniable time to give praise where praise is due.
This program would not exist without the selfless brilliance and endless years of hard work of the two co-founders.
If I sound a bit exaggerated, believe me, that is just not possible.
Irene and Timothy had an idea and GAVE OF THEMSELVES so others could be safe.
And they continue to do so.
What can be more amazing than that?
I can think of only one thing. What they created. KIDPOWER
Written with love and admiration,
Master Carol Mikols
Aptos Martial Arts Academy
I loved that we all learnt skills that can be used not only in potentially dangerous situations but in everyday life. My children now have strategies to deal with their interactions with each other, family members and their friends.
My daughter, who was the victim of a murder attempt at school, has taken both Kidpower and Teenpower classes. She learned so much so fast, so many skill to keep her safe in so many different situations, from bullying to kidnapping attempts from insults to assault, and all in a warm, caring, nurturing environment. She made a 100% turn-around from a shy, frightened, anxious child, to a confident, skilled, relaxed child. The price is quite inexpensive, just to cover costs, and the amazing instructors are all volunteers. Because they care. If every person had the opportunity to take a Kidpower workshop, the world would be a safer place for everyone. I particularly like the fact that Kidpower will work with anyone - young child, teen, elderly, people in wheelchairs, the mentally handicapped. Why? Because everyone deserves the right to feel safe.