I'm the mother of four children one of whom is a special needs child. Just like most Moms, keeping my children safe has always been one of my highest priorities. As they continue to grow up, I'm not always going to be with them, but having studied in the martial arts for over 25 years, I can teach them how to be aware, be smart and be safe.
The subject of abuse and abduction is a pretty heavy subject. I know a lot of parents who are reluctant to talk to their kids about this because they don’t want to scare them, or they think “it will never happen in our family”. Unfortunately it can happen to anyone. It’s more important to ensure your children understand they can trust you to and can talk to you about anything.
Opening the dialogue with your kids creates awareness, which is the first step in self-defense. Remember, it’s better to know self-defense and not need it, than need self-defense and not know it.
Simple Safety Tips for Kids
- Allow your children to trust their instincts about people. If your child simply doesn’t want to kiss Uncle John goodbye, don’t force them to.
- Secrets are a special weapon for predators. Kidnappers and sex offenders may try to manipulate children by threatening to hurt family members. Advise your children – if someone tells you not to tell Mom or Dad, that’s when you absolutely SHOULD tell Mom or Dad.
- If workers have access in and around your home (landscapers, renovators etc.) it’s highly advisable to have their background checked. Never leave your child unsupervised with anyone you don’t trust 100%.
- If your gut instinct tells you that something is wrong, you’re probably right. Don’t wait until you get proof. By that time, it may be too late.
- Ensure your children always tell you where they are and who they are with. Advise them never go with anyone who says “Your Mom or Dad sent me to pick you up.” unless both the teacher and the child know in advance of this arrangement.
SCREAM – They should attract as much attention as possible. Tell them to scream “FIRE” or “THIS MAN IS NOT MY DADDY” as loud as they can.
- In crowded, public places like Canada’s Wonderland or the Zoo, be sure the family chooses a visible “home base” (like a Ferris Wheel) to meet if you are separated from each other.
- If you and your child are separated, they are going to have to talk to a stranger. The safest stranger to help them is a woman (as they are far less likely to be predators).
- Remind your children never to help anyone who asks them to look for their lost pet or child.
- Teach your kids to run, scream and fight back if a stranger tries to take them.
FIGHT BACK – This is the only time in their life when they can hit, kick, scratch, and bite. RUN – Tell them to run to a place where there are a lot of people, a store or to a friend’s house.
Predators don’t look like the boogeyman or Freddie Kreuger from the Friday the 13th movies. They look like regular people who can have families of their own. They can be the coach of your kids team, or the really “nice” man who says he lost his puppy. Protecting your children to be aware is the smartest way to keep them safe.
- It is very unlikely your child would ever be put into the trunk, but they should learn to kick out the tail-lights of the car or how to release the emergency safety latch.
About the Author
Angela Fice is the owner of BackOff Defense in Bowmanville and teaches exceptional and unique self-defense techniques to women, children and men to ensure they have the tools to effectively defend themselves.Specially designed seminars include a variety of tactics including elements of police services, special forces drills, martial arts, rape prevention, weapons training and stranger safety. For more information, call (905) 809-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org