Why Parents, Nannies, and Au Pairs Should Read Books by Gavin de Becker

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs
In response to the horrific killing of an eight-year old boy in Brooklyn we posted the Test of Twelve by Gavin de Becker to help determine if a child is ready to walk home alone,
I first remember seeing Gavin de Backer on the Oprah Winfrey Show and it was the first time I heard an expert in security really make sense. He emphasized listening to your instincts to protect yourself.  He also showed that children must do anything and everything possible to draw attention to themselves if they feel unsafe. It was powerful watching a scenario in which actors had a child reach under a man to press the gas pedal in a car to create a crash. The fact is, a child is safer getting in a car crash if kidnapped then being taken to a remote area in a car with a stranger.

I highly recommend reading his books and then sharing them with your employers.

Protecting The Gift by Gavin de Becker

In Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe Gavin de Becker shares with readers his remarkable insight into human behavior, providing them with a fascinating look at how human predators work and how they select their targets and most important, how parents can protect their children.

He offers the comforting knowledge that, like every creature on earth, human beings can predict violent behavior. In fact, he says, parents are hardwired to do just that.

Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe provides a direct look at the strategies of predators, a study of how children are victimized, and a look at why. Understanding human violence empowers parents to protect their children more effectively. De Becker asks readers at the outset, “Of all the strategies you might bring to protecting your children, could ignorance about violence possibly be an effective one?”

Exploring issues surrounding child abduction, family violence, childcare workers, school safety, teenage dating, driving, drinking, and the often-deadly relationship between boys and guns, Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe will enable parents to confidently answer some of life’s highest stakes questions:

— How can I know a babysitter won’t turn out to be someone who will harm my child?
— What’s the best way to prepare my child to walk to school alone?
— What should I do if my child is lost in public?
— How can I spot sexual predators?
— How can I know if my child is being sexually abused?
— How can my kid’s safety be improved?
— How can I know whether some friend of my child’s might be dangerous?
— Is my own child displaying warning signs of future violence?
— What must my teenage son or daughter know in order to be safe?
— How can I teach my child about risk without causing too much fear?
— How can I reduce the worrying?

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

An instant #1 National Bestseller, The Gift of Fearreveals practical lessons from Gavin de Becker’s decades of studying violence. The book appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for seventeen weeks and has been published in 13 languages.

In 2008, Oprah Winfrey did a special show commemorating the 10th Anniversary of its publication, and the book was featured several other times on her show, as well as two full hours on Larry King Live, three weeks in a row on Prime Time Live, two center pages in Time Magazine, among many others.

In The Gift of Fearde Becker draws on his extensive expertise to explode the myth that most violent acts are random and unpredictable and shows that they usually have discernible motives and are preceded by clear warning signs. Through dozens of compelling stories from his own career and life, he unravels the complexities of violent behavior and details the pre-incident indicators (PINs) that can determine if someone poses a danger to us.

Readers learn how to:
— Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers
— Rely on their intuition
— Separate real from imagined danger
— Predict Dangerous Behavior
— Evaluate whether someone will use violence
— Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them

Offering in-depth solutions to people who are dealing with domestic abuse or workplace violence or who are the targets of unwanted pursuit, de Becker also provides unique insight into death threats, stalkers, assassins, children who kill, and mass killers.

The Gift of Fearis an important book about human behavior, one which has left millions of readers stronger and safer.

Fear Less by Gavin de Becker

Gavin de Becker’s book The Gift of Fearshowed millions of readers how to better protect themselves from violence and unwarranted fear. Now, in Fear Lessde Becker answers the questions many Americans have been asking since September 11th:

— Can air travel be safe?
— What is the risk of biological or chemical attack?
— Can the government detect and prevent future acts?
— How can we best talk to our children about what has happened and what might happen?
— What can individuals do to reduce fear and worry?
— What specific steps can individuals take to reduce terrorism?
— What are terrorists likely to do next?
— Most simply, is everything going to be all right?

De Becker says, “Just as your imagination has placed you in frightening situations, it is now time to place yourself in empowering situations, time to see that you have a role to play, and contrary to so many TV news stories, it isn’t just victim-in-waiting.”

Fear Less: Real Truth About Risk, Safety, and Security in a Time of Terrorismoffers specific recommendations that can enhance our national security and our individual safety – and help put fear into perspective.

“In this war, there will be no captured beachhead upon which we can lay our fears to rest. So we are challenged to find safety and peace of mind in other ways.”

“You and I can be sources of reasoned information, insight, comfort, and courage. The more of us there are, the better – and though we may not be able to stop all terrorism, we can stop lots of terror. Let’s go further into the relevant topics than one can do in a sound bite, go into them without alarming bulletins and scary graphics, go into them without hype or politics, go into them just deeply enough to come out the other side.”

“Then you can see if you reach the same conclusions I have: that you can find your life in these times, that you can influence your own safety, that you can help protect your country, that you can manage fear, and that you are going to be all right.”


  1. Very good I will borrow from the library and perhaps buy as a gift for parents if so good.

  2. I do remember this OPRAH show and it was excellent. I never thought to buy the books but now more important than ever to do so. Scary world we live in. Those poor parents and family of the child will be beating themselves up for the rest of their lives when it was the fault of just one terribly sick, evil man that should be persecuted, not the parents!

  3. Awesome info.!Thank you- thank you! thank you!~Andrea- Nanny in NJ

  4. These are books that I had to buy two copies of, one for myself and one for my bosses. In his books he explains how to predict violence and what signals to recognize and learn to avoid them. I like that he says that in certain danger situations you can trust your instincts to get them out of it.

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