Empower Kids: More Important than School!

Of course, children must learn to read and write but that should NOT be a parent’s only priority. Young children need to know how to stay emotionally “centered” and how to live by their self-protective conscience to stay safe on a computer, an iPhone, at home, at school, and in their neighborhood. When adults take time to guide children, they will make good choices and will not become self-destructive.

Within the first six months of 2021, children’s hospitals nationwide reported a “shocking” 45% increase in the number of self-injury and suicide cases in 5- to 17-year-olds compared to the same period in 2019. (Children’s Hospital Association) We must discuss the inner power within every child.

If children don’t feel strong and confident, they will struggle in school and may become victims or bullies. They may escape into drugs, become angry or violent, or just follow the crowd.

Our cities are full of homeless people whose emotional skills were neglected which put them at risk for repeating or engaging in self-destructive behaviors.

I worked with the homeless for four years and started support groups. I met educated people who never learned how to grow self-confident and resilient. They took drugs, engaged in crime, became abusive, or engaged in other self-destructive behaviors. I learned from the homeless what they never learned as children and decided to write the book, “Empowerment Parenting: How to raise resilient children who become happy, self-reliant adults.” It is up to parents to help children develop healthy relationships to stay safe.

On average 1.2 million children drop out of high school every year. Twenty-five percent of freshmen do not graduate from high school. Youth drop out of high school for various reasons, including bullying, drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and the inability to concentrate. If adults fail to empower youth, they may fail to develop the emotional tools to resist self-destructive behaviors or develop the 3C’s, Courage, Character, and a self-protective Conscience that can protect them.

An enlightened, centered child who possesses the tools to stay safe can be successful with or without a high school diploma. Drugs and other destructive behaviors will not interest them. Poverty will not hold them down. They can rise above and will NOT follow the crowd. Children are born with many emotions. It is up to parents to activate their child’s inner power, so they know how to develop their identities and free will! Freedom is an inner journey of self-discovery.

Here are a few people who dropped out of school and succeeded.

  • Richard Branson – CEO of Virgin Air
  • Quentin Tarantino – Oscar winner actor
  • David Karp – Founder of Tumblr
  • George Foreman – 2-time boxing and Olympic champion
  • Carl Henry Lindner Jr. – CEO- Cincinnati Reds
  • Vidal Sassoon – Hairstylist
  • Kirk Kerkorian – Owner: MGM Grand and other hotels

It only takes half an hour a week to discuss self-protective safety and empowerment skills with a child. Parents can discuss how to use their intuition and instincts. Children need to know the danger of keeping secrets and how to make the “maturity flip” from a selfish child to a caring teen. They will get a new perspective when they discover strength through pain, and how to handle frustration, social isolation, abuse, and anger.

Never underestimate a teenager who knows how to use their inner power. Self-awareness gives youth self-confidence, self-discipline, and self-motivation to keep them safe and healthy as they discover their personal path to success.


Stephanie L. Mann
Stephanie L. Mann
Stephanie Mann co-authored, Alternative to Fear: Guidelines to Safer Neighborhoods,” which helped launch the national “Neighborhood Watch” Program. Within 2 1/2 years, involved residents in her community (17,500 residents) decreased crime 48%, WITHOUT a local police department. Mann worked as a community leader, neighborhood organizer, county coordinator, state consultant and authored, “Safe Homes, Safe Neighborhoods: Stopping Crime Where You Live” (Nolo Press 1993) In 2010, while working in Richmond CA, with “Mother’s Against Senseless Killings,” Mann saw people too scared to be involved or report crimes. She wrote, “The Adopt-A-Block Guidebook,” with an easy-to-follow guide for existing groups and “My first steps to a safe neighborhood” for citizens. These booklets give individuals and groups the tools to reach out and bring people together to help each other. Stephanie started a homeless men’s support group while working with “The Mary Ann Wright Foundation” in Oakland CA. She recognized the need to support children at an early age and wrote, “Street Safe Kids: 10 Step Guide for Teens and Adults” (which has been used in after-school programs) to help youth grow strong from within to develop self-esteem and stay centered. Book available on The Safe Kids Now National website states, “Every child needs a healthy family and neighborhood to stay safe.” In partnership with the CARR Foundation, a binder, “Safe Neighborhoods: Access to a Healthy Community,” was created for city leaders to make neighborhoods safer for families and neighborhoods. Stephanie’s books strengthen families and can decrease the social isolation that fuels bullies, domestic violence, abuse, drugs, gangs, and other destructive behaviors.”

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