Play, travel, walk, etc. with at least one other person
Predators prey on that one child walking alone or that one teen walking from the mall to her car. For teen guys, there is strength in numbers, so team up with your buddies. The point is to cut down on riding solo. Encourage your children to play in groups, even when they are by their homes.
Get a small cell phone
I know some parents will pass over this idea to avoid large cell bills, but listen. Give your child a cell phone for two reasons. First, because they can call in case of emergencies – from being picked up from an out of control party, to finding their way home while walking back home after a little league game. Secondly, in 2002, legislation was passed that all cell phones must have a GPS capabilities in them. As a result, if a child is are abducted, the cell phone can act as a honing device. So get a small one, and teach your child to always keep it in their pocket. Teaching them to not run up huge bills, and enforcing strict “when to use” guidelines is worth the alternatives.
Your comfort first
Children and teens are pulled in two different directions. We teach them to respect authority on one hand but also ask them not to talk to “strangers” when they ask a question, such as helping the man out who supposedly lost his dog. Rather we need to teach them to trust their inner voice. If it feels weird, don’t do it. Better yet, the lesson should be…don’t do it, and then discuss it with your parents. Teach them to be polite, but not compliant, and to talk over all situations with mom and dad.
Learn to love crowds
Many times as parents we have the connotation that crowds are dangerous. Riots, gang fights, and other mischievous activities always seem to happen when big groups of children or teens gather… right? I’m not saying they don’t, I just want parents to understand that once again predators love to isolate children. And remember, a predator for all purposes of this conversation could be the 16-year-old boy who is taking your daughter out. The point is that any predator dislikes crowds, because there is too much of a chance of getting caught. So teach your young ones to find a safe haven in crowds, whether they think they’re being followed, or their new boyfriend is getting too close – too fast.
Know where they are, and who they’ re with
Sounds pretty cliché, I know, but it is so important. Many times when children go missing, many parents have no clue where they were, or who they were with. If you don’t have one piece of
information, you better have the other. This is another reason cell phones are so great, as long as they are used properly – including parents not overusing it – embarrassing their child as they call them every hour in front of their friends. Make a habit of getting a call or a stop home before they change venues or go off with another group of people.
Make some noise, lots of it
If I had one technique to teach any child on how to defend himself or herself, boy or girl, young or old, it would be using their voice. Attackers hate attention (remember they love isolation). However, because kids are expected to be quiet at school, in the library, at home, in the neighborhood, in malls, etc., they don’t get any positive practice at screaming their heads off! So take your child right now downstairs in the basement, or in the car in the garage, and have them give you their best screaming shriek that might even shatter windows. Then teach them that their blood- curdling yell is their number one self-defense tool. If they ever get grabbed, attacked, followed, chased, etc., yell until they’re to safety.
Get your kids, whatever age they’ re at into self-defense lessons
Call it a pitch or commercial, but lessons will give them tools, confidence, and fitness. Tools to fight back, confidence to look like an undesirable target, an d a fitness level to run away long and hard if they need to. For lessons that meet their specific needs call toll free 1-877-337-1877 or email me directly at Matt@EliteJKD.com.