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Teaching Safety to Kids

I just recently watched a video of a real product targeted to parents of girls to teach self defense. Without question, it’s an awfully bad advertisement. But it does draw attention to a serious subject.

The threat of violence is all too real for children today. The need for a common sense approach to help kids react appropriately when faced with danger has grown exponentially. A local initiative on a community basis could provide a good first step in prevention.

A few questions to mull over and comment:

  • What steps have you taken to teach your children how to defend themselves?
  • What do you feel should be taught to children to make them aware of threats to themselves and others?
  • What age does breaching the subject of predators with a child begin?
  • Ugh, I had a big long comment that didn’t post. Here’s a shorter version: We have this video, called Safe Side Super Chick. It’s a bit corny, but also very clever and catchy. My girls love it and have watched it since they were around 3 years old. There’s that, and I tell ’em that pretty much everyone in the world is pure evil and out to get them and us. That’s kept ’em safe thus far. Haha! Seriously though, We girls both know that they have full right to kick, punch (in the groin for bad guys), scream and run away to a police officer or “safe side adult” if a stranger is in their personal space, tries to speak to them or if a situation ever feels uncomfortable.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for commenting Jeff. I’d never heard of the video you mentioned but it’s certainly worth a look based on your experience of success.

  • Sadly, my ex husband targeted a 5 year old child, who was playing outside her apartment door. She went freely with him. Parents & grandparents were all inside the apartment.

    The number one preventative measure is supervising your children. If they’re going to be outside, be outside with them. Teach your children, as early as possible, to not go with other people without your permission. Teach them to scream out if someone tries to take off with them without your permission, not just your permission to the adult, you have to teach your children that they have to hear the permission from you personally. Finally, teach your child that if someone does try to take off with them with force they have to wiggle, fight, and scream to get away.

    Depending on the age of the child…I started with my son when he was close to 2 years old, my 3 year old daughter has some speech delays and its difficult to determine if she understands as well as my son did at her age… Teaching them some of these things may label them as uncooperative, especially in a group setting, but personally I’d rather my children throw a fit and I have to stop what I’m doing to calm them and direct them personally than for them to just go along with someone willingly, with or without my knowledge.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for writing in Mrs. Bonds. My heart breaks for the 5 year old child. I hope her attacker received the proper punishment.

      I agree with constant supervision as you implied. Not helicoptering parenting, but rather being present in the same space aware of one’s child whereabouts and activities at all times.

      Your point of teaching children to only accept permission directly from the parent about decisions to go off with other people makes a lot of sense.

      Finding a balance between being cautious and encouraging antisocial behavior can be difficult. Such a tough subject for all parents to face in a world that keeps presenting new challenges.

      • Unfortunately he did not. His lawyer was able to get him a plea agreement that netted him a whole 4 months behind bars, in a psychiatric treatment facility, followed by 4 years of probation. He has spent the majority of the last 7 years since the sentencing in and out of jail for not registering, not paying child support, public drunkenness, and who really knows what else. His ’employer’ then is the same guy he works for now, but under the table, and off the books, doing door to door sales still….I think currently in Iron County Missouri. In a few months he’ll likely be back in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, and he has been known to be in the Mobile, Alabama area as well. Just where ever his boss thinks he’ll make him money.

  • Tessa is still really young but of course, I’ve been thinking off and on about this since she was in the womb. I actually used to co-teach a self-defense class for women. My partner did the martial arts aspect and I talked about DV & other issues of safety. I think all of the commenters have made excellent points and I agree with all of them. The one thing I would add is that statistics clearly show most assaults on children are done by someone they know. A neighbor, family friend, or relative and I don’t have the stat handy but when I was teaching this is was over 80%. Not that warning kids about strangers isn’t necessary or appropriate, but it’s just a perspective to keep in mind.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for contributing your experience Chris. An excellent point to be aware that strangers are not necessarily the primary culprit in attacks on children.

  • UncleAnt

    Very helpful. Thank you for the post.