Sunday, August 28, 2011

lesson learned : "hold" for your children

The SCA uses a safety word on the fields, lists and ranges that means all within the area must immediately stop because someone is in danger of being hurt, or something is causing a hazard.  The word is "hold", and usually, when one person yells it, others spot the danger themselves and yell it as well.

Recently, my husband, D, and I learned from a mother we respect (whose child is no longer a toddler) that "hold" works for keeping your children safe as well.  We were set up near the archery range, where D, my mother and I were all shooting in turn.  This is the first time we had set up near the range, and O was unfamiliar with the situation.  Each time he spotted his Daddy at the line, he would run to him.  This, of course, made me panic each time, but I only ever yelled "O, stop!"  This was usually enough to get D to turn around as well, but it did not affect the other archers in the same way.  In fact, I'm sure that a few of them were irritated by the distracting yell, oblivious to how close O was to running into the range.

Explaining our frustration about how O did not listen, and how afraid we were at the danger in which he placed himself, our friend told us a similar story, and we were comforted that we were not alone.  When we mentioned that we feared yelling "hold", since we didn't want to interrupt everyone, she shook her head.  No, she said, that's what "hold" is for.  It's better to yell hold when a child is about to enter danger, than to yell something else that may not work, and those who needed to be award of the danger remain oblivious.

We have not had an opportunity to put her advice into practice, but the lesson is learned.  No one will fault you for yelling "hold" where the safety of your child is concerned.

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