Obviously teaching and educating your child on how to protect themselves in a variety of situations out there in the world is a crucial concern for most parents. Its great when we can watch our children, keep an eye on them and be there protect them, but what happens when you are not there. For example your child may get lost at the shops, you may be in the shower or out in the backyard when someone knocks at the door, your child may be down the park playing or walking home from school. Education and repeated conversation to set up a framework of do’s and dont’s for your child is one of the most valuable things you can do to along with some education of how to actually deal with strangers or threats face to face. Many martial arts schools such as Karate and Taekwondo schools will deal with these kinds of issues if they are a reputable school. At ATI Martial Arts we consistently reinforce the education and training in these areas and even supply an information flyer to parents to continue the conversations at home. Here are some pointers and ideas on what things to cover with your child and set up a personal safety net for them.
Some helpful Conversations to regularly have with your child
Set up a route when walking to and from school and make sure it is safe and they stick to that route.
Educate them on safety houses in your neighbourhood and the agreed school route so they know where to go if they are in trouble.
Who to approach if they are lost at shopping centres or in the neighbourhood (go to shop staff or people behind a counter if you are lost, look for safety houses and police stations).
If a stranger approaches they are to keep distance and say they are not allowed to talk to strangers and leave.
Never ever go anywhere with a stranger.
Have scenario conversations giving examples of how strangers may entice them to go with them. Eg: do you want to play with my dog. Can you come with me and help me put something in my car, do you want some lollies or a drink.
If you are home along do not answer the door to a stranger and always keep security doors locked.
Never give personal information or your location to a stranger or someone over the internet.
Memorise your address full name and mums contact number in case you are lost.
Look at a good martial arts school to deal with educating your child on how to protect themselves physically from threats.
Having regular conversation and preparing them for the worst may actually save their life one day. We have actually had three to four children that train in our martial arts schools actually approached over the years and every one of them left the scene immediately and protected themselves from a possible threat. This is the same principle as protecting your children from drowning, the best safety measure against drowning is to teach them children to swim at the youngest age possible. Personal safety and anti abduction skills are exactly the same. If you want your child to be safe teach them the specific skills and awareness they need to ensure they are not an easy target and they can protect themselves.