By Matt Booe
Our children’s safety for most us is something that we take for granted will never have to be addressed by our children themselves. We rely on teachers, school systems, daycare workers and other adults in their lives to handle these issues.
The problem is, nearly all abducted or molested children are attacked while under the supervision of these very adults, in which we are placing our trust. In light of this, I would like to share with you some simple rules that are part of our Stranger Awareness program. Sometimes we call this our “Stranger Danger” series.
There are four major facets to this system. 1) No! Tell your child to let the attacker and more importantly everyone around them know that you don’t want to do whatever the person is trying to get you to do. 2) Go! Tell them to get away from the stranger in any way that they can. The important thing here is not to simply tell them to run away, because they will eventually get tired and have to stop. We will cover where to run in step four, but for this step it will suffice to say there are many Martial Arts techniques that will enable them to get away. 3) Yell! Teach your kids not to just scream or shout anything. This may be overlooked as a tantrum. Get them to be specific, “Help that’s not my daddy!” or “Help that’s not my mommy!” As well, yelling fire is simply overlooked today and won’t get much of a reaction. 4) Tell! Instruct your children whom they should run to in case the situation ever arises. Some suggestions are: Teachers, Parents, Grandparents, Store Clerks (always the ones at the cash register, they definitely work there), Policemen, Firemen, Security Guards, or if any of these are unavailable, pick a mother with children of her own. A mother will be more likely to empathize with your child, and you for that matter, and give the extra effort to help. Be sure to let your kids know that no matter what happened to them, they should tell, even if it is embarrassing.
There you are: NO, GO, YELL, TELL. If you teach your children to be prepared, they are less likely to look like a victim or panic if the unfortunate incident ever occurs.
This article is the third in a series on self-defense by Matt Booe especially for The Seymour Herald’s