Author | Permission to Use Info

Eyes of Love Safety Signal drawing by Joey Varblow HollowayOur Kidpower ‘Eyes of Love’ Safety Power helps us remember to look at the people important to us with compassion instead of with annoyance or anger – which is especially important during stressful times. It’s easy – just make your hands into a heart shape and look through your “hand heart” at someone you care about.

The following success story comes from MJ Hayes, our North Carolina Center Director, used with permission.

Joey is a young adult with autism who has been participating with his family in our safety lessons online. Joey is a talented artist, and he has been making drawings based on the skills we teach to help him to integrate these safety tools.

Last week, as soon as his mother was finished with her work, Joey showed her his wonderful drawing and told her all about his Kidpower ‘Eyes Of Love’ Safety Power, explaining it perfectly. She said, “It was just what I needed after a long day on Zoom calls!”

On a personal note, I wish we had put this emotional safety tool into words and gestures much sooner. It would have helped me to remember to use my own ‘Eyes of Love’ in my parents’ final years. As their health was failing, my dear and difficult parents sometimes said and did things that were very hurtful. Too often, I got outraged, and this led to a lot of conflict.

Once I accepted that my parents couldn’t help themselves, I could let go of my being upset, look compassionately at their reasons for what they were saying and doing, and remember that under this behavior was enormous love. With a clear mind, I could then make calm choices about what to ignore, how to set boundaries, how to take care of myself, and when to get help, while continuing to care deeply for each of them.

When we teach our ‘Eyes of Love’ Safety Power in our online classes, we have fun seeing how our students of all ages with big smiles immediately start using it to look at family members in the room with them and at each other on the screen. It gives us joy to know that the skills we teach are helping so many people to manage the challenges caused by the stress and disruption created during these difficult times.

Please let us know if you’d like to organize an online program for your school, workplace, organization, or friends and family members. We can provide parent/caregiver workshops, staff trainings, parent-child safety lessons, and virtual classroom safety lessons. Topics can include interpersonal skills and strategies about emotional safety, boundary-setting, relationship safety, child protection advocacy, safety in public, sexual abuse prevention, and bullying/cyberbullying solutions.


Copyright © 2020 - present. All rights reserved.

Published: July 8, 2020   |   Last Updated: July 8, 2020

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.