Untold Santa Cruz

7. Irene Van Der Zande: Co-founder of kidpower advocate for safety and well being.

November 12, 2021

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Music for the Podcast was graciously created and offered by the talented Ketsa and was obtained at the Fee Music Archive . Please visit the artist's webpage for more info!

In this episode of Untold Santa Cruz, Irene and I talk about the origins of the program and how the value of an evolving organization has pivoted to meet the moment.

1:48 Kidpower pivots to online learning in the pandemic to teach more people how to stay safe and enjoy relationships.

4:27 Kidpower teaches “relationship safety” with conflict resolution training webinars

6:28 Communicating from a place of calm, aware, respectful and persistent when needed.

8:00 Listening to people with compassion to let go of anger and move the conversation forward.

8:57 Maintaining the values of safety and respect as Kidpower grows and becomes more inclusive.

Learning through our mistakes, “You don’t have to be perfect to be great, mistakes are part of learning.

13:00 The ACES study, Adverse Childhood Experiences and how Kidpower can help people of all ages deal with stress and traumatic experiences.

15:05 Kidpower of answers and real help from caring people with experience at safety@kidpower.org

19:48 A simple question that can make a huge difference is,  “How are you doing how can I help?” 

20:50 My own sense of peace after my first Kidpower training.

22:20 How to keep yourself safe regarding the news and your spirit. “Is there something I need to know?“

24:24 The power of, “you are important and I care” 

26:53 Kidpower Mission Statement and Values lead the way forward with integrity.

27:25Kidpower works with all ages, all abilities, and all walks of life 

28:20 The incident that inspired Kidpower

30:18 The bystander effect

31:15 Ellen Bass: “The Courage to Heal” and the seeds of physical self-defense work.

3315 “I wish I could do that“

33:46 The realization that telling kids to be careful not to let strangers close is tragically not enough

34:45 The search for a better way to keep kids safe and meeting the Kidpower co-founder, Timothy Dunphy 

35:06 Kidpower is fun, not scary, and based on experiential learning, practice, then the adults started asking, “what about us?“ 

37 The power of experiential learning. We learn better when we do things, not just hearing or talking about them.

3745 Don’t just teach the children, Kidpower teaches their parents too.

3830 Irene’s empathy drove her capacity to teach.  It wasn’t easy for her to learn self-defense which turned out to be a gift to students.

39:10 Kidpower starts with the problems people are actually having in their lives from bullying to interpersonal problems within families using.

41:20 Evolution is a Kidpower value that allows the curriculum, and teaching techniques to adapt and evolve with changing needs of the communities they serve.

4305 How can we help Kidpower? Donate, Purchase a Kidpower Book on Amazon Smile, Take a class and share your experience with someone you care about!


46:00 excuse me let’s talk about something else.

46:45 My friend was talking about something, and you know that we are safe.

47:30 is there anything that you’ve been wondering about or worrying about a powerful question to a child.

48:15 Tapping, emotional freedom technique to reduce stress

48:30 Dealing with anxiety especially in children.

49:30 The Protection Promise on FacebookYou are VERY important to me!

If you have a safety problem, I want to know – even if I seem too busy,

even if someone we care about will be upset,

even if it is embarrassing,

even if you promised not to tell, and

even if you made a mistake.

Please tell me, and I will do everything in my power to help you.”




"1,2,3, The Toddler Years" with Amazon Smile link that benefits Kidpower

Amazon Smile link to other books by Irene van Der Zande 

Books from Kidpower









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