Two Boys Save a Third

Hi Readers! Okay, enough about cosmetics. Here’s a bracing little tale of what happens when we trust our kids to take on some grown-up responsibilities: They rise to the occasion! In this case, the occasion being a boy who fell off his bike, suffered a severe gash, and needed basic First Aid while waiting for the medics.

Let’s remember that when we worry, “Oh, she’s too young to babysit!” or, “He’s too young for a paper route.” Our kids are often way more competent than pop culture leads us to believe. (Or maybe they should just stay home and play with makeup. The girls, that is. The boys can play with squirt guns until they’re outlawed.) Good night! — L.

19 Responses

  1. Good for those boys!
    Sad thing is, though, that somewhere someone is reading this and thinking “this never would have happened if they hadn’t been out alone.’ Because why would you realize how competent kids can be when you can panic about it instead.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lenore Skenazy, New Moon Girl Media. New Moon Girl Media said: Two Boys Save a Third […]

  3. Basic first aid should be taught starting in grade 5 or 6 (middle school I guess for you in the States). Bravo, boys.

  4. […] Read the original: Two Boys Save a Third […]

  5. Ah, but they had a cellphone!

  6. Well done boys, I’m not sure I’d have been as calm and competent – and I’m a whole lot older than 12!

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  7. No one out yet doing a witch hunt on the parents for letting the kids mountainbike all by themselves, *ggg*… (And did you read the one comment about the kids not qualifying as heros…?)

    Seriously: they did so well! I don’t know if I would have handled the situation that well — so: bravo to the boys!

    So long,

  8. This sort of basic idea comes up for me a lot. I get some resistance from parents at times when we talk about maybe letting their kids walk to school alone. “But he can’t cross the street safely. He’s like a dog chasing a squirrel… he has no idea where he is or what’s coming.”

    Okay. People. First of all, your kid is 10.

    Second of all, your kid is not going to stop delegating the job of being aware of the surroundings AS LONG AS YOU ARE THERE NEXT TO HIM. As long as you are there, parents, the kids will delegate. You have to absent yourself in order for the kid to become aware and responsible. That’s just the way it works, see?

    So if you want kids to rise to occasions, they must be left to their own devices. Sure, it’s scary sometimes. But hey, to me, it’s WAY scarier to see ten-year-olds who aren’t allowed to walk three blocks to school. True dat.

  9. ah, brilliant!

  10. A similar thing happened to my brother when he was aboout the same age. He wrecked his ATV in the woods riding with friends and suffered severe injuries to his face. A boy he was riding with carried him up a steep ravine then another mile through the woods to get help. He saved my brothers life. He was just an average, ordinary 12 year old boy, but he was a real hero!
    Kids will meet our expectations. Expect them to do the right thing, make the hard decisions, take care of each other and themselves, and they will do it. Expect them to panic, abandon one another, and take the easy way out, and that’s what they’ll do. We are raising over-parented, materialistic underachievers.
    I expect my daughters to look out for each other and their friends and do the right thing, and they do it, and I’m proud.

  11. Every month, my kids get Boys Life magazine. There is always a section called Scouts in Action, which the kids read religiously every month. It is full of true stories of kids saving others through quick thinking and staying calm in stressful situation. Some of these kids as young as 8 have saved their families from house fires, kept siblings from drowning, and helped keep people calm after car accidents. Kids can do all manner of things if you give them some basic coping skills and then get out of their way.

  12. And don’t forget that HE might not be too young to baby sit and SHE might not be too young for a paper route. Just sayin’.

  13. Well done boys!

    Does anyone remember a book called “What to Do When There’s No One But You” by Harriet Margolis Gore? It was a basic first aid book for kids, sort of in comic book format, and my brother and I checked it out of the library all the time…It’s no longer in print but I might hunt down a used copy.

  14. Thanks for this story. Not only inspiring, but also a helpful reminder to get my older into a first aid class . . .

  15. @ Susan – What’s wrong with having a cell phone when you’re mountain biking, even if it is on a track? Looks to me like its a good thing they had one! I understand the worst first mentality of giving your kid a cell phone to be safe at school but when they could ACTUALLY need help? Heck, I carry a cell phone when I go hiking or biking. I don’t want to be stuck in the desert of Arizona lost or with a flat tire, sprained ankle, snake bite or worse!

  16. “They did all the right things because THEY WERE TAUGHT…”

    Nuff said.

  17. I like the survey on the side which offered a link to sign up for classes. How often does your local paper go that extra step of not just telling a story, but helping improve the community too?

  18. Locally, about a month ago, three teen boys were out duck hunting. Somehow, a rifle fired accidentally and hit one of the boys in the the arm, causing severe damage to the tissue. (I am not sure if the gun belonged to the victim or one of the other boys.) Everyone kept their cool. One called for an ambulance. While trying to keep the blood flow down, one (the other?) called his aunt who is a nurse and got additional advice on what to do. They followed directions and got the boy to an area where the help could reach him.

    They are credited with saving his life and his arm. There was no pointing out by the paper the fact that these teens were out hunting without an adult. Locals may have written a few comments along that lines, but there weren’t comments when I saw the article online, fairly late in the day.

  19. Yes, an excellent reminder of why first-aid courses are such a wonderful thing for children and adults. Definitely going to sign my child up for one when he’s old enough.

    Actually, a first-aid course was what helped me most when I started thinking about how to be a free-range parent. My son was 5 months old, we were starting him on solid foods, and I suddenly realised that I was so frightened of what would happen if he choked on something, that it was almost all I thought about. I was even nervous about letting my mother feed him — as if my mother hadn’t raised two children herself. So I signed up for a first-aid course, reasoning that I would feel better if I knew what to do in case he choked. It was the best decision I ever made, because I came away feeling empowered to deal with emergencies. I think I’m much less of a mother hen than i would’ve been without the course.

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